The world and humans for students and their parents


From the book by Andrey Sokolov and Tatiana Sokolova "The world and humans for students and their parents".


“Confidence is more often born of ignorance than knowledge,” wrote Charles Darwin.

It seems to us that doubt is a sign of weakness. Is it so?

School requires us to know the exact answers. If you doubt - get a zero. The army demands unquestioning obedience. Doubt - march to the guardhouse. Bosses and chiefs of all stripes keep up with army commanders and school teachers. If you doubt - write a statement "of your own free will" - get out.

It is fixed in our minds that doubt and uncertainty are a sign of weakness and ignorance.

Is it so? Or just the opposite.

Doubt is a sign of thinking, analysis and intelligence.

Perhaps the most famous scientist of the 20th century, Albert Einstein also had doubts. And his doubts even have a mathematical expression.

At the time of the creation of the General Theory of Relativity, it was believed in science that the Universe is static, that it has certain finite dimensions. But according to Einstein's calculations, the universe should have expanded.

To bring the revolutionary General Theory of Relativity in line with current views, the genius Albert Einstein introduced a coefficient, a cosmological constant, into the formula.

Einstein did not like the change in this formula. He doubted its necessity, and he doubted the provisions of his theory without this "constant." Einstein doubted.

Later, when Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding, doubts were resolved. But for us, it is important to record the moment of doubt of the Nobel Prize laureate Albert Einstein.

Doubt is alien to ignorance.

History is full of examples of the doubts of scientists and sages. And just as full of examples of no doubt nonentities, religious or ideological fanatics and villains.

In psychology, there is the concept of the Dunning-Kruger effect. This is a kind of distortion of perception, when, with low qualifications (in something), a person feels complete confidence in the correctness of his actions ... and constantly makes mistakes. At the same time, the higher the qualifications (on this issue) of a specialist, the more doubts he experiences when making a decision ... and chooses the right one. At the same time, an ignorant person estimates his level of knowledge and skills very high, and the most competent person, on the contrary, underestimates his level of knowledge.

Briefly summed up by the philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell: "One of the unpleasant properties of our time is that those who have confidence are stupid, and those who have at least some imagination and understanding are filled with doubts and indecision."

For people who are ignorant and devoid of doubt, the following is characteristic:

They tend to overestimate their own skills.

They are unable to adequately assess the really high level of skills of others.

They are incapable of realizing the full depth of their incompetence.

But after training, they have the ability to realize the level of their previous ignorance.

Doubt is a way to resist manipulation, crowds, and zombies.

There is an experiment based on the method of Solomon Hashem, conducted by many psychologists over the past 50 years. Its essence is as follows.

A group of people is asked to describe (or compare) two or three objects (drawings). For example, two pyramids, two or three balls, three lines, etc.

In this case, two objects (drawings) are identical, and one is fundamentally different: two black and one white pyramid, two long lines and one short, etc.

In the group of people expressing their opinion, only one person is the subject. All the rest are bogus.

Typically, the goal of experimenters is to demonstrate how the opinion of the majority can influence the opinion of a minority - one single subject.

And, as a rule, psychologists do it very well. After 6-9 people confidently say that they see three black pyramids, instead of two black and one white, two black balls, instead of black and white, the subject "breaks" and repeats the erroneous statement behind the majority.

According to researchers, more than 75% of people succumb to such an obvious deception.

Illarion Pavlyuk, author of the film "Ordinary Zombies. How Lie's Work", who repeated this experiment already in the 21st century, says: “It takes only 45 minutes for an absolutely adequate person, being in his right mind and full consciousness, to call a black ball white, and vice versa. "

The filmmakers have expanded on Solomon Ashem's experiment by adding additional elements beyond the "majority opinion".

They "caught" people on:

Vanity is a human weakness that is often used to manipulate consciousness. It was enough to pat, praise - and now the person was sure that white is black.

The role of the hero. A hero is respect, honor, desire to be the best. Participants with the attitude of “heroism” also easily fell for the bait of manipulation.

Parenting template. When making decisions, most people were guided by generally accepted rules of behavior. As a result, getting a person to recognize white as black turned out to be quite simple.

Anxiety. Taking part in an experiment is always unsettling. And a person wants to unite with at least someone, just not to be alone. And if the group says that white is black, then so be it. As long as these are just balls, the situation seems harmless. But it is from this point that any genocide begins - massacres.

Expert opinion. The smart majority. The experimenters assigned one or more of the dummy participants the status of authoritative expert. For example, a professor. The subject had only to agree that white is black. After all, this is confirmed by the authority and the majority that joined it.

Sociality. It's hard to be alone. Our centuries-old biology dictates us to be closer to our tribe, not to leave the cave alone. Sociality plays a cruel joke on us. Renouncing our "I" in favor of a certain society, we risk being among the pogromists and SS battalions.

All these people, avoiding doubts, echoing the authorities, playing the role of a hero, a good boy (girl), trying to "snuggle" to the majority, or simply experiencing fear and discomfort, easily "broke", which allowed the group to make them admit that all the balls on the table - black. Although one of them was white.

And only one of the subjects remained unconvinced, calling black black and white white. This participant (woman) - doubted. Doubt saved her from error, doubt prevented her from recognizing white as black, doubt gave her the strength.

The conclusion of the film's authors is as follows: "If a person doubts, he is looking for evidence, and until he finds it, he will not give up what he believes in."

Just as thin and weak grass, like a green branch and a leaf, easily resist strong winds and do not break, so the weakness of doubt allows you to resist manipulation, propaganda, patterns, authorities, majority opinion and crowd psychology.

Doubt helps you think and remain yourself, regardless of circumstances and public opinion.