Ep 27 - The Knowledge Illusion (part 1)

Released Monday, 22nd May 2017
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Fake news is the big story in Europe and the United States, and that’s left many voters incapable of knowing the difference between fact and fiction. But that’s not the whole story. Even when voters are given facts that contradict their beliefs, their confidence in their beliefs remains unshaken. And people are increasingly losing confidence in expert opinion. Democracy is based in the assumption that voters are knowledgeable, informed, and can make good decisions. Post-election surveys of voters tell us that’s not the case. Voters know far less than they think they do and are over-confident about their choices. How can we explain this paradox? Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach tackle this problem in their revolutionary new book, The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone. They tell us first that people suffer from - what they call – a “knowledge illusion.” And even more important, they tell us that we never think alone. We are all part of communities of knowledge and learning, where we divide the cognitive labour. On this episode, Janice Stein speaks with Steven Sloman, a professor of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences at Brown University. He is also the editor in chief of the journal Cognition.

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27m 15s

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