Why Rational People Believe Irrational Things | How To Academy

Wed, 29 November 2023

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT

Why Rational People Believe Irrational Things

Dan Ariely

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The superstar social scientist joins us for an eye-opening exploration of the misinformation crisis, examining what drives otherwise rational people to adopt deeply irrational beliefs.

Misinformation affects us daily, from social media to politics and even personal relationships. Policing social media alone cannot solve the complex problem shaped by partisan politics and subjective interpretations of truth. But when we recognise misbelief as a human problem, we can be part of the solution.

In this livestream talk social scientist and TED superstar Dan Ariely will explore the behaviour of ‘misbelief’ that leads people to distrust accepted truths and embrace conspiracy theories.

Grounded in research and Ariely’s personal experience as a target of disinformation, his talk will analyse the psychological drivers behind adopting irrational beliefs, and reveal the emotional, cognitive, personality, and social elements that drive people towards false information and mistrust.

Misinformation taps into something innate in all of us – but by understanding this psychology, we can mitigate its effects.

This online event is free for members of How To Plus.

Praise for Dan Ariely’s Misbelief:

”Dan Ariely… offers insights and tips that will hopefully help all of us protect our fragile social fabric from being torn apart by disinformation and distrust.” – Yuval Noah Harari

Misbelief is an urgent examination of the human attraction to misinformation. This timely book can provide a crucial foundation for building a more empathetic and informed society.” – Daniel H. Pink

“In Misbelief, Ariely helps us understand the nature of our opinions, how they’re formed, and how the forces of misinformation can distort them. This is an important book for those who w ant to understand themselves and the increasingly complex world around us.” – Arianna Huffington

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Dan Ariely

Behavioural Scientist

Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. He does research in behavioural economics on the irrational ways people behave, described in plain language. His introduction to irrationality took place as he overcame injuries sustained in an explosion. During his treatment in the burns unit, he faced a variety of irrational behaviours that were painful and persistent. He began researching ways to better deliver unavoidable treatments to patients, and then became engrossed with the idea that, as humans, we can predictably make the wrong decisions.