Healthy skepticism - Deepstash

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How to read the news like a scientist

Healthy skepticism

Healthy skepticism
Healthy skepticism does not mean you’re dismissing everything as false — it simply means remembering the things you hear or read in the media could be false, but they could also be true. Or they could be something in between.

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Social compliance and Social proof

Social compliance refers to how we respond to people in authority or to those who have the appearance of competence and expertise.

Social proof refers to how we look for cues around us to know how to behave. This can be easily used against us by manipulating our environment to get us to behave in a certain way. For instance, a large number of "like"s on Facebook and other platforms will attract more "like"s as people take clues from others.

We get fooled regularly

People and businesses often use techniques to get us to do what they want. We go for the “buy two, get one free” offer at the drugstore, or buy the advertised special, even when it is not really needed.

While other people are responsible for the scams, the persuasion mostly happens in our minds. 

Misdirection

The age-old tactic of misdirection is employed to distract us from the real issue. Companies and governments even implement it: they release bad news on Fridays or before major holidays with the hope that the weekend will distract us from focussing on the issue.  

Defensive failure

It's what occurs when we want to achieve something and we think about it constantly but we don't do it.

This happens because of a few mental blocks that are keeping us locked in this cycle.

“I just don’t think I can do this”

Experiencing a rocky start is enough sometimes to discourage us from going any further and we convince ourselves we don't have what it takes to do a certain task.

How to outsmart it: Develop a growth mindset and try to see each failure as just an opportunity to learn.

“People like me aren’t good at this”

While our identities can give us a sense of meaning and a place in the world, sometimes they can get in our way when we’re attempting new things: many of us will avoid doing anything that threatens our sense of self.

How to outsmart it: Find people like you, that are doing the things you'd like to do and share your concerns with them.

Thinking like an actor

We can use performance techniques off stage to create a reality of our choosing.

Using acting techniques isn’t the same thing as manipulating people, or being phony or fake. Instead, it’s about communicating in a way that moves others to see your point of view and, at times, act in your favor. Essentially, this comes down to being intentional — with yourself and with others — about what you’re trying to achieve.

Know your big picture goal

An actor always performs with a clear purpose or motivation in mind. When you’re thinking about your next high-stakes situation, ask yourself the same question that actors ask when developing a character: “What’s my end goal?”

Think about your long-term objective, not just the immediate one. 

Think about the other person

... and how you want them to feel. The choices made by an actor during a performance — in speech and movement — are in the service of attaining their goal and achieving a specific impact on their audience.

Not everything you say or do is going to work, but if you can fluidly play one action after another in pursuit of your objective, it gives you this ability to improvise in the moment and be flexible.