Study: Personal anecdotes are more effective at bridging divides than facts

Most people believe you can win an argument with facts - but when "facts" are so often subject to doubt, are personal experiences trusted more?

Credit: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images
  • A new study has found that people are more likely to get respect from others in moral and political conversations when sharing personal experiences instead of facts.
  • The research group conducted 15 separate experiments to test this theory in order to learn more about tolerance in specifically political arguments.
  • The effectiveness of facts in these conversations (even when proven true) is unclear because facts themselves are now subject to doubt, especially surrounding controversial and polarizing topics such as gun control and political beliefs.
Keep reading Show less

Twitter turns to the hive mind for moderation via its Birdwatch program

The platform experiments with letting users decide what content needs flagging.

Credit: Twitter/Big Think
  • Birdwatch is a new effort by Twitter to crowdsource content moderation.
  • Still in testing, volunteers can comment on tweets they find problematic.
  • Reactions to the new experiment are predictably colorful and bird-brained.
Keep reading Show less

Study: Militarization of police does not reduce crime

A new look at existing data by LSU researchers refutes the Trump administration's claims.

Credit: Megan Varner/Getty
  • The United States Department of Defense gifts surplus military equipment and clothing to local police departments.
  • The militarization of police coincides with a significant loss of trust in law enforcement from the American public.
  • Militarized police departments are more likely to interact violently with their communities.
Keep reading Show less

The Secret Service is buying social media location data

New documents confirm that the government agency—one of many—has been using a tracking company.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images
  • Documents reveal that the Secret Service used Locate X as part of a social media tracking package.
  • The service "allows investigators to draw a digital fence around an address or area, pinpoint mobile devices that were within that area, and see where else those devices have traveled, going back months."
  • Other agencies that have used this service include the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Keep reading Show less

Penn Jillette: The year that shattered America's illusions

The year 2020 will go down in history as one that shook our inner and outer worlds.

In this Big Think Live session, magician, author, and cultural critic Penn Jillette will discuss the giant upheavals of 2020 through the lens of what he knows best: illusions.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast