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Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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November 2, 2005

Intention, Perceptions and Beliefs

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Posted by Zack Lynch

I just got around to reading the October 7th Science and found this interesting tidbit:

What is the relation between intention, choice, and introspection?

Researchers used a card trick in a simple decision task to identify a dissociation between awareness of the initial choice and the outcome when this has been surreptitiously altered. Participants were givena choice to make in the attractiveness of two female faces shown on two cards, and then asked to justify their choice as they examined the card with the alternative they had allegedly chosen. In some trials, the experimenters covertly switched the cards. In the majority of such trials, participants failed to recognize the switch, and proceeded to justify their choice of the card they were handed, although it was not the one they had selected. (Credit: Johansson)

What's the bottom line: We believe what we want to believe?

Comments (6) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Culture & the Brain


COMMENTS

1. Matthew Mahoney on November 3, 2005 1:38 AM writes...

The interesting part for me hinges on the surreptitous in the switching. If the person learns new, relevant information, they may take an alternate position. Yet the learning part is often what people avoid. People often expend a lot of energy *avoiding new information* that may be contradictory. A common pitfall, among co-workers for example, is to rely on the various ways that prevent one from seeing a topic from another's point of view. Working with groups, it's worth asking individuals to share: what is it that you find makes it difficult for you to see another's point of view?

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2. Hans Suter on November 3, 2005 3:19 AM writes...

looks like the classical sales person to buyer relationship where preserving a good relationship is more important than the buy.

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3. Robert Ernst on November 4, 2005 2:08 AM writes...

Persons involved with scientific investigators display their trust and do not expect tricks and lies. They attempt to cooperate with an investigator. If a lie is not expected or suspected it is less likely to be detected. If a lie is expected the truth is less detectable or acceptable. Hans Suter has a good point but most buying people suspect the sales person for sales ads contain less than truth.

People do want to learn but most are so defensive about what they believe they don't want to reveal their ignorance. As a researcher I tend not to believe other researchers without examination
and verification because they are people too.
Ther are many factors in the card trick.

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4. Amy Casada on November 5, 2005 2:10 AM writes...

Wouldnt you agree that the problem for those who were *tricked* is that they didnt pay attention to what they were doing when they made the choice originally, so that when confronted with that choice, they had no grounded reference from which to draw?

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5. Myrna on May 22, 2007 2:21 PM writes...

Whether it is a card trick of someformofpost hynotic suggestion, Yes we do tend tomake emotional decisions and we do have a preference of choice. Or maybe people do not want to participate in these type of studies and are more curious and intelligent. The human brain is a fascinating engine and there leaves alot to be discovered yet. I respect Researchers because they take long periods of trails and failure to stdy with an outcome of some sort of results.

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6. Myrna on May 22, 2007 2:22 PM writes...

Whether it is a card trick of someformofpost hynotic suggestion, Yes we do tend tomake emotional decisions and we do have a preference of choice. Or maybe people do not want to participate in these type of studies and are more curious and intelligent. The human brain is a fascinating engine and there leaves alot to be discovered yet. I respect Researchers because they take long periods of trails and failure to stdy with an outcome of some sort of results. Being strong mentally is a committment to self preservation.

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