Yesterday I listened to a great TEDtalk on taking science out of context. In a society where media hype is all we know, Molly Crockett warns us how a seemingly simple neuro-bunk can make us believe in anything. Opening the discussion with how the media took her findings of brain chemicals and made headlines with: cheese sandwiches, the key to happiness, this neuroscientist begs the audience to be leery of any blanket claim. It might be easy to accept what seems to be legitimate claims from a variety of sources including the news and internet. After all, the internet never lies. Ms. Crockett emphasizes this occurrence with a study that found that people were more likely to believe something to be true if it had a picture of a brain on it. Now the specifics of this talk only serve to emphasize her point. As someone who is always skeptical of what the news tells, despite occasionally getting caught up in the latest flu scare, I found the advice fairly sound. Ask questions, get proof, and consider alternative explanations.
By: Courtney Kidd, LMSW
SJS Staff Writer