How developing mental immunity can protect us from bad ideas - Deepstash
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Mental immunity

Mental immunity

Mental immunity is a psychological theory that is also known as cognitive immunology.

People with a healthy mental immune system are more likely to detect misinformation. A strong cognitive immune system can also help spot bad ideas at an earlier stage, so you may avoid wasting time, energy, or money. 


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A mental immune system

The mental immune system is believed to function in a similar way to the body’s physical immune system.

  • The purpose of the physical system of immune cells is to detect pathogens including bacteria and viruses, so that they can be eradicated from our bloodstream and organ systems before they have a chance to cause damage.
  • Similarly, a healthy mental immune system will detect harmful or incorrect information that enters our mind, so that it can be recognised as such and then promptly rejected.
  • Mental immunity research has deep roots dating back to the 1950s. 


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How to strengthen your mental immune system

  • Build awareness of misinformation. Remember that misinformation is common, and train yourself to immediately interrogate the information or data you are presented with.
  • Develop healthy meta-beliefs. A meta-belief is a belief that one holds following a thorough reasoning process or cognitive interrogation to check the validity of the belief.
  • Practice self-reflection. If this process of reflection indicates that you are drawn to the same news sources, or solely rely on influencers or social media platforms for your updates, your information diet may not be varied enough.


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