How people twist the facts to support their beliefs

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Do you think that people are rational?

Do you believe that most people are rational?
Do you think that people judge things correctly?
Do you believe that large groups of people who agree on a certain matter should be followed?

If you have any of these beliefs then you need to redo your calculations because when it comes to twisting facts most people are deception masters.

During any sensitive political situation you will find parties that agree with the government and parties that don't agree. This kind of disagreement is usually healthy because it sometimes leads to a better outcome.

However, if you examined the reasons that motivated most people to stick to a certain opinion you might find that the majority of them don't have a single logical reason.

People will usually decide which side they will take first then alter their perception to further prove to themselves that they took the right decision.

This is also the same reason why people judge others incorrectly. (see Do people judge others fairly?)

How people twist the facts to support their beliefs

Humans receive information through their different senses but because each person processes the information in his own way people come up with different opinions.

Here is what most people do to the information they collect:

  • 1) Discarding chunks of data: If you don't like a person then this person did a good thing then there is a very big possibility that you will forget about his good deeds and only remember the bad things just to prove to yourself that you were right when you hated him (see also Why do people judge me)
  • 2) Focusing on irrelevant data: The main reason i wrote this article is that a friend of mind who disagreed with a politician kept posting pictures that made fun of the man's looks claiming that a politician should look differently. My friend focused on the politician's looks, which is a totally irrelevant point, just because he disagrees with him. When a person dislikes another he will try to find out anything bad about him even if it was irrelevant just to prove that he has the right to dislike him (see also why people see the world differently)
  • 3) Assigning a higher weight to one element: When a person you dislike does anything bad then most probably you will focus on that action and make it seem like a catastrophe. The ironic thing humans do is that when the same action is done by a person they like they do regard it as a trivial matter. In brief people find excuses for the ones they like while doing their best to accuse the ones they hate of being guilty (see How perception affects the behavior)

How you can use such information to improve your life?

Remember the last time someone rejected you?
Remember the last time you got hurt because someone criticized you?
Do you remember the last time you gave up because so many people opposed you?

In all cases the reason you felt bad was that you assumed that most people are rational while this isn't true.

Most People twist facts and alter their perception just to support their already existing beliefs. In my book The psychology of physical attraction i said that attractive people get better treatment than non attractive ones just because people were taught that good looking ones are kind while bad looking ones are evil.

People are anything but rational even the most educated ones. This act of twisting of facts has nothing to do with education or age. No matter how educated a person is he can still fall prey to these incorrect thinking patterns if he lacked proper self understanding.

The takeaway is: don't feel bad when someone judges you because most people are far from being rational.

People who don't understand how others perceive physical attraction usually develop the imagined ugliness disorder.

The book The psychology of physical attraction explained was released by 2knowmyself. This book won't just help you understand how the attraction process happens but it will also help you discover how attractive you are and will assist you in getting over the imagined ugliness problem.

Want to know more?

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