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Myth Busting - Fact or Fiction

Essay by   •  June 23, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,214 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,883 Views

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Fact or Fiction

Earl Nightingale stated, "We are all creatures of habit. We can do most things without even thinking about them; our bodies take charge and do them for us." This is true for even thought process, metacognition, and the ability to change or evolve personal philosophies. Core beliefs are so well instated into the mind of an individual that the individual would believe solely the truth that is within the comfort and preference of his own beliefs regardless of the validity of the statement at hand. In Mathew Iredale's article, Why myth-busting doesn't work, he references Dr. Norbert Schwarz's work to dissect the cause of this. In doing so, he addresses to the reader his findings are legitimate through the use of logos, diction and experimental conclusions.

The paper begins immediately with an appeal to logos. A recent review of research into rational decision making, let by Dr. Norbert Schwarz of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, has once again illustrated the extraordinary fallibility of human judgment. This sentence alone causes the reader to consider the article to be very credible through the use of factual and evaluative means. Most theories of judgment and decision making focus on the role of declarative information, that is, on what people think about, and on the inference rules they apply to thought content. This diction is an attempt to reinforce the soundness of the article by appealing to the logical thoughts process of the reader. Iredale is also recommending to the audience to trust the findings in the article because the average person's judgment is greatly influenced by heuristic verdicts. Hard evidence is provided in the article through experiments and observations to support the original claim: ...our ability to make what we consider to be rational decisions can sometimes fall far short of a rational ideal. The referenced experiment regarding the flu vaccine provides a supporting, secondary claim that people will forget what they have just read in order to go back to their original state of "truth" that emphasize their biases. By providing an experimental example to the text, Iredale reimburses his sense of logos in his writings and appeals to the rational and analytical mentality of the audience. (The audience being readers of The Philosophers' Magazine and those that enjoy perplexed cognition) Iredale also uses Schwarz's findings to persuade his own audience.

Repetition is key. Phrases such as once again, research going back decades, and consistently display the institution's attributes of being consistently correct in their findings. This evaluative technique serves as a way to convince the reader this article should be believed a priori. The institution is liable and as such one does not need to question it. Schwarz proclaims information that people remember is more likely to be held as truth even if it is false than truth that is told solely once and forgotten. Therefore, the use of qualifiers help ingrave into the reader's mind the significant points Iredale is making so that the reader will be more easily coerced into believing his convictions. The application of analytical words such as rational, research, and systematic add integrity to the piece by suggesting it is based purely of off facts and not by opinion. It gives the piece an aura of factuality by using science and reason as an impertinent component to appeal to the reader's logic. These terms convey the information is absolute and exists without a single doubt. Iredale incessantly uses words and phrases that are connoted with verifiable truth to cleave the reader's logical thought process. Even stating Dr. Norbert Schwarz of the Institute

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