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Is it necessary to trust personal convictions and rely on “gut instincts,” or is it more correct to study the evidence of certain statements and claims? Various researchers from the spheres of sociology and political technology study if many people trust the information that comes from television and other resources or not. As a rule, some of them tend to believe in everything that they watch and hear. At the same time, some citizens express personal opinions regarding specific events or situations.
However, even though many people consciously decide in favor of particular beliefs, some are guided by their instincts, and some rely on specific knowledge. The data that helps to prove some facts is usually obtained as a result of detailed research. Blind faith in the words of different politicians is undoubtedly the object of condemnation for many activists. Such people are ready to do everything possible to make people trust them and everything that they hear and see.
The public disclosure of false statements is becoming increasingly popular among various debunkers who see their task as delivering truthful information to people. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to determine which data may be considered reliable and which may be false. One of the ways to do it is to compare the two ideas and determine their similar and distinctive traits.
The comparison of the two concepts allows saying that they have some common features. As Dyer (2017) notes, many people today believe that politics affects the way people think and the conclusions they draw. However, some trust exclusively in reliable facts and evidence. These two segments of the population are a subject of Dyer’s (2017) research article. Among the results of his work, the author quotes Kelly Garrett’s words.
This man claims that people who are inclined to believe the news coming from the media are more likely to have inaccurate information. Nevertheless, the concepts of “gut instincts” and faith that is based solely on reliable details have some similarities. For example, they are both extreme versions of the truth. The two beliefs are associated with specific excesses, and it is hard to deny. The supporters of the theory of instincts, according to Dyer (2017), do not always trust information that is too contradictory or even impossible.
Thus, the author gives examples of well-known conspiracy theories, the assassination of President Kennedy, etc. (Dyer, 2017). At the same time, the supporters of reliable facts, as a rule, possess accurate information about particular events. This means that neither of these categories of citizens is always wrong to label their beliefs prejudices. Therefore, both concepts have overly categorical versions of the truth, but this is not commonly considered a reason to call the members of these groups deeply mistaken.
The two approaches still have more differences than similarities. There is a significant contrast in the perception of facts. For example, the proponents of instincts, as Dyer (2017) claims, tend to trust the most incredible and amazing theories. They belong to the category of those people who do not deny the existence of conspiracy theories. These people think about the surrounding world as extremely hostile.
They prefer to consider the facts that they learn from a conservative point of view. Their interest in confirming their beliefs with reliable information is poor. As for those people who prefer to analyze data, Dyer (2017) believes that they are not inclined to believe in all types of unconfirmed information. The author considers that they are less likely to state their position aggressively (Dyer, 2017).
For example, they believe in the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or discount the conspiracies against the late Princess Diana and President Kennedy, etc. (Dyer, 2017). According to the survey, the researchers found that such citizens do not have any prejudices; they prefer to filter out disinformation coming through the media. Also, according to the author, many supporters of the concept of faith in evidence will sometimes seek to find the truth; but their conclusions are not based exclusively on their personal beliefs (Dyer, 2017). People with such a position, as a rule, study reliable sources to find evidence of this or that situation. Therefore, the difference between the two concepts is apparent, making it possible to call them more contrasting than similar.
On the whole, the position of those who support faith in evidence is stronger than those whose assumptions are based only on their prejudices. It is difficult to assess this or that situation when the media is actively disseminating it. Numerous sources and publications may interpret information differently. For example, conservative citizens, according to Dyer (2017), are inclined to deny the possibility of checking any information thoroughly.
Liberals, despite their active position, often seek support. These contradictions probably will never be lost since too many factors may influence their occurrence. Older people prefer television and newspapers to electronic resources. It may well be through the media that the government and politicians can most strongly affect citizens’ consciousness as a large number of people watch television daily.
Many respected publishers present numerous scandalous stories every week. Sometimes, politicians need the support of the people, and they are ready to take any measures to earn recognition. The side of those who choose justified and theoretically verified arguments looks more reliable. Perhaps, “gut instincts” is not the best way of thinking. If many people shared this point of view, the situation in the world would probably change for the better.
Thus, it is not easy to say whether it is necessary to trust personal convictions and entirely rely on “gut instincts” or follow substantiated and verified data. The supporters of both concepts find arguments in favor of their beliefs. All the facts can be considered from different angles. Politicians’ attempts to convey false information to the public should certainly be stopped by any means. Too active a civil position caused by this or that statement can lead to serious consequences.
Nevertheless, each person must determine his or her preferences. People can conduct personal inquiries regarding relevant topics or trust respected people who represent certain situations through the mass media and other resources. According to Dyer (2017), everyone can continue to “listen to their gut and still overcome their political biases,” and the author considers that this is satisfactory news (para. 16). Individuals’ desire to receive reliable information and be aware of the situation of their country is logical. On the whole, both theories can exist, but it is essential to ensure that neither of them hurts the development of society.
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Dyer, J. (2017). Trust in ‘gut instinct’ linked to belief in fake news. Web.