Talk Postponed to AY 20/21: Hugo Mercier - Humans aren't gullible: evidence from psychology and social science

Friday, March 27, 2020 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm

Hugo Mercier

CNRS Researcher

Institut Jean Nicod

 

Title: Humans aren't gullible: evidence from psychology and social science

Abstract: It is often thought that humans are gullible, easily manipulated by demagogues, advertisers, and politicians. I will argue that the opposite is true: humans are equipped with a set of psychological mechanisms that allow them to properly evaluate communicated information, and to reject information that is false or harmful. I will rely on experimental psychology data, as well as studies showing the failures of mass persuasion, from Nazi propaganda to American presidential campaigns. I will also offer explanations for the success of some misconceptions—from pizzagate to flat earth—that are not based on credulity. 

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