Why people keep falling for viral hoaxes

Ars Technica:

When confronted with new information, humans don’t always do the logical thing and evaluate it on its own merits, Phillips says. Instead, we often make snap decisions based on how the information adheres with our existing worldviews.

If the story pushed by a meme or hoax fits in a way that feels like a coherent narrative to a critical mass of people, it’s game over, says Phillips.

Mengapa (otak) kita lebih tertarik dengan berita buruk

Mikkel Reincke Kristensen via Medium:

when you go to a news site at any given time, chances are that you will see a scary headline, some problems around the world, gossip and then the occasional good news. And the problem does not lie with the news site. It lies with us, or more specifically, our brain.

It turns out that our brains crave sensational news, and bad news hit just the right spot. News media just want clicks, and if it turns out that bad news gives those clicks, they are naturally going to report those, primarily.

In our brain we have 2 almond-shaped groups called the amygdala in each temporal lobe. Back in the old days, where humans lived in the wild and had to focus on survival, this part of our brain served as observing and sensing danger to us. If a stick cracked in the forest while you were gathering berries, this part of our brain would make us consider the fact that it could be a deadly predator. Even though it might just be a hedgehog or the wind, the amygdala made sure that we were alert.

Today, day to day survival is hardly a problem anymore, and the amygdala serves a different purpose. It instead warns us about probabilistic danger. If Ebola has killed 200 people on the other side of the world, well should it come to you it would be problematic. As a result of the amygdalas influence, we notice and focus on the bad news to a much higher degree that the good news.

Intinya adalah, kalau dulunya bagian otak yang merespon situasi berbahaya sangat berguna dalam bertahan hidup, sekarang bagian otak tersebut berfungsi menjadi pemberi peringatan. Sehingga, ketika ada berita buruk maka otak kita akan lebih terfokus ke masalah tersebut dibanding kepada berita lain yang jauh lebih baik/positif.