Why the illusory truth effect works

Repeating lies makes people believe they are true, show studies.

  • Two recent studies looked at the illusory truth effect.
  • The effect describes our propensity to start believing untrue statements if they are repeated.
  • The phenomenon is a universal bias linked to cognitive fluency but can be counterbalanced.
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Should students learn about their implicit biases in grade school?

The development of implicit biases starts at a young age and then they get reinforced over time.

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  • Awareness of your implicit biases can lessen their effect.
  • In the classic "Draw-A-Scientist Test" young students overwhelmingly drew similar representations of a scientist.
  • Teaching young people to become aware of the idea of their "implicit biases" could help them better understand their peers.
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Exposing our hidden biases curbs their influence, new research suggests

Do you know the implicit biases you have? Here are some ways to find them out.

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  • A study finds that even becoming aware of your own implicit bias can help you overcome it.
  • We all have biases. Some of them are helpful — others not so much.
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How correcting for cognitive biases makes life more fair

How much does cognitive bias change people's perception? Well, the history of computing would be a lot different.

How much does cognitive bias change people's perception? Well, the history of computing would be a lot different. And so would many major orchestras, who had to implement a curtain during auditions so that judges and orchestral directors could only judge musicians on their skills... and not their gender. Michael Li, PhD, is the founder of The Data Incubator, an education startup training STEM PhDs to be data scientists and quants.

How you perceive your own weight may be a psychological illusion

Some people naturally believe they’re thinner than they really are. Here's how to tell if you're susceptible. 

Our body size has social implications, mostly self-imposed, which we generally focus on. But the truth is, there are all kinds of sizes within a spectrum that could be considered healthy. It’s the extreme wings of the spectrum, either remarkably skinny or obese, that are particularly dangerous for our health. Admittedly, there’s a growing worldwide obesity epidemic, meaning most people in developed countries end up on one particular side of the spectrum. Of course, many people could benefit from at least some form of weight loss. What can be a stumbling block, however, is how we perceive our own weight.

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