Monday, May 30, 2011

Action! Not Words

What’s all this stuff about motivation? If you ask me, this country could do with a little less motivation. The people who are causing all the trouble seem highly motivated to me. Serial killers, stock swindlers, drug dealers, Christian Republicans. I’m not sure motivation is always a good thing. You show me a lazy prick who’s lying in bed all day, watching TV, only occasionally getting up to piss, and I’ll show you a guy who’s not causing any trouble.

- George Carlin


Newly published research points to another factor that feeds this ingrained confirmation bias: Our “Just do it!” culture. In both overt and subtle ways, Americans are constantly being encouraged to take action, and exposure to such messages makes us more liable to ignore dissenting ideas.

“The growing need for activity in the United States may contribute to a loss of objectivity in the way citizens gather information,” University of Alabama psychologist William Hart and University of Illinois psychologist Dolores Albarracin write in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. They found that when people’s minds are attuned to the idea of action, their opinions tend to harden, making them less likely to seek out opposing viewpoints.

So, you see, to the untrained eye, it may appear that I'm just a lazy ne'er-do-well goofing off on the Internet, starting pointless arguments over minutiae with the few people who bother to read my ravings, but my heterodox methods actually make me one of the most diligent truth-seekers there is!