By Paul Bloom & Barbara L. Finlay (Editors)
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Extra resources for Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Volume 32, Issue 6, December 2009
However, the present financial crisis may have already provided a corrective to positive illusions at both the personal and societal levels. The crisis has certainly led to a dramatic drop in the previously inflated average self-image, for example, by people in countries as different as Iceland and Latvia. Predictably, Western politicians and bankers will resist this trend. Quite recently, in the Financial Times, the executive chairman of the giant international banking concern HSBC declared: “About 80 per cent of this country [United Kingdom] considers itself middle class.
In one study, we had people read minutes from a meeting of an organization, with the idea that they would later apply to work at that organization. The minutes implied that members of the organization believed either that intelligence was fixed or that intelligence could be developed. Before people applied to the organization, however, they went to a different room with a different experimenter to engage in a completely different task. ” What happened was striking. People who had simply read about the fixed-intelligence organization said that being brilliant was more central to who they were, but those who had read about the malleable-intelligence organization said that being passionate [about learning] was more central to who they were.
It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us into trouble. It’s the things we know that just ain’t so. — Artemus Ward (as cited in Gilovich 1991) When the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (JPSP) compiled a list of the papers most often cited in its pages, the salutatorian was not a JPSP article (nor was the valedictorian, but that is another story). Nor was it even a social psychology article – at least not exclusively (Quinones-Vidal et al. 2004). It was Taylor and Brown’s (1988) review of “Positive Illusions,” the series of biases that McKay & Dennett (M&D) nominate 526 BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES (2009) 32:6 as one of the “best candidates for evolved misbelief” (target article, sect.
Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Volume 32, Issue 6, December 2009 by Paul Bloom & Barbara L. Finlay (Editors)