Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It takes two to be gullible

It takes two to be gullible, really. And the youngest and the oldest are most at risk.

Think about it... One has to tell you a "tale", and you have to believe it, for you to be "gullible". It is a lot like lies. It takes a liar, and it takes a victim to accept the lie as true.

Researchers have found a portion of your brain that controls gullibility, and it's only fully developed at middle age. Really.

The youngest are at risk because they don't have the experience to tell what's true and what's not believable (or at least, questionable). That's why baiting kids with tall tales like Santa Claus and Tooth Fairy is so amusing.

The oldest are at risk because their mind is not as sharp as they used to be. Most societies discourage that by imposing additional penalties for senior abuse.

Even if you are middle-aged, you are probably easily mislead because you rely on INTUITION, NOT LOGIC, to determine what to trust, and what not to.

You were brought up from very young to believe "don't trust strangers", so scammers adapted by getting close to you via other ways, such as friends, fellow workers, fellow church-goers, net buddies, and so on, and from there, infiltrate your relatives. You also believe that you are a much better judge of character than you actually are, that you have much better memory than you actually do, and so on and so forth. In fact, it is not hard to convince you that you convinced yourself that a lie is true.

To put it simply, you are not skeptical enough. You accept crap info as valid.

Your crap detector needs a tuneup.

Here's how to tune up your crap detector through fact-checking

Here's how to tune up your crap detector by detecting emotional appeal and other "spin"

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