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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 1615

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: Journal Article

Douglas KM, Sutton RM.
Right about others, wrong about ourselves? Actual and perceived self-other differences in resistance to persuasion
Br J Soc Psychol 2004 Dec; 43:(Pt 4):585-603
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpsoc/bjsp/2004/00000043/00000004/art00007?token=005c10cc4e7247444f6d6222346b62687633502b333e3541333c4a2f246c6a38574b675423783c77eefc266e7e60


Abstract:

The third-person effect (TPE) is the tendency for people to perceive the media as more influential on others than on themselves. This study introduced a new methodological paradigm for measuring the TPE and examined whether the effect stems from an overestimation of the persuasibility of others, an underestimation of the persuasibility of the self, both, or neither.

In three studies, we compared ratings of:

(a) current self attitudes (both baseline and post-persuasion),

(b) current others’ attitudes (both baseline and post-persuasion),

© retrospective self attitudes, and (

d) retrospective others’ attitudes.

We also measured traditional third-person perception ratings of perceived influence. Rather than overestimating others’ attitude change, we found evidence that people underestimated the extent to which their own attitudes had, or would have, changed.

Keywords:
Adult Attitude* Female Firearms/legislation & jurisprudence* Humans Male New Zealand Personal Construct Theory* Persuasive Communication* Prospective Studies Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Retrospective Studies Self Concept* Social Conformity* Students/psychology

 

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Far too large a section of the treatment of disease is to-day controlled by the big manufacturing pharmacists, who have enslaved us in a plausible pseudo-science...
The blind faith which some men have in medicines illustrates too often the greatest of all human capacities - the capacity for self deception...
Some one will say, Is this all your science has to tell us? Is this the outcome of decades of good clinical work, of patient study of the disease, of anxious trial in such good faith of so many drugs? Give us back the childlike trust of the fathers in antimony and in the lancet rather than this cold nihilism. Not at all! Let us accept the truth, however unpleasant it may be, and with the death rate staring us in the face, let us not be deceived with vain fancies...
we need a stern, iconoclastic spirit which leads, not to nihilism, but to an active skepticism - not the passive skepticism, born of despair, but the active skepticism born of a knowledge that recognizes its limitations and knows full well that only in this attitude of mind can true progress be made.
- William Osler 1909