Trust and Indoctrination
-- This is currently a Work in
What is it that causes us to trust
some sources of information more that others?
Is it perhaps how much they or what they represent has
previously agreed with, therefore and contributed to, our jigsaw
puzzle of experiential knowledge?
The theory of Accreted Trust supposes this to be the
case. If you were a bookworm as a child you will tend to trust information from
books. This will always be difficult to test since if you as a child read a lot
you will presumably develop the skills required to extract written information
and utilize it efficiently. This effect will probably be much larger than any
trust related effect. A stronger example comes with parents.
Do you trust your mother? - Well first there are a couple of
types of trust. The one we usually think of is conscious trust. This is a jigsaw
puzzle piece in our mind that says - "I trust my mother" or conversely
"I don't trust Peter".
Conscious trust controls whether or not you even listen to what
is being said. If you consciously don't trust someone then you are not going to
really listen to what they say or read their book [unless that's all that's
available - see indoctrination] and hence are not
going to assimilate anything.
So let's assume that you are actually hearing the message:
"The first photograph ever taken was of a naked
Would you believe this message and file it away?
The two theories: Source Trust and Knowledge
sit well with the effectiveness of external indoctrination, like that
practiced where the media is controlled by specific interests.
A maternal/paternal figure [accreted
trust] continuously overloading
the mind with a set of interlocking 'facts' will create vast puzzle sections of
'knowledge' which will strongly influence behavior and be difficult to challenge
at a later date. Especially if effort is taken to draw connections to experiential
| "And the reason you have no food is because of XYZ!"
||Being hungry is a very powerful experience - click
|"Can you feel the power of Jesus right now?!"
||I feel excitement, which is very tangible, which then links
into everything the preacher has talked about - click
What does that mean for the reader when they pick up the
same newspaper day after day, for the couch potato watching CNN every day,
or for the Objectivist
who only reads 'objectivist' editorials?
- Beware of
Why is it so painful to read
articles which disagree with our own point of view?