“The Backfire Effect” Is the Cognitive Concept of the Moment

If you only believe what you want to hear, you’re doing life wrong.

Discover

If you’ve been awake and online in the past 24 hours, there’s a good chance someone you know has shared this lovely Oatmeal comic. Yes, the one that explains why our brains our wired to reject information that goes against our previously held beliefs.

The comic was based on a three-episode sequence from You Are Not So Smart — a popular podcast and WordPress.com site — devoted to the backfire effect, the name of this cognitive phenomenon. On the first episode, the YANSS team goes deeper into the neurological underpinnings of this resistance to information that might change our minds:

By placing subjects in an MRI machine and then asking them to consider counterarguments to their strongly held political beliefs, Jonas Kaplan’s and Sarah Gimbel’s research, conducted along with neuroscientist Sam Harris, revealed that when people were presented with evidence that alerted them to the possibility that their political…

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The Best of WordPress.com in April

Here’s some of the awesome stuff going on at WordPress.com.

The WordPress.com Blog

You’re off to a strong creative start in 2017! Here are a few recent updates and stories from the WordPress.com community in April that we wanted to share with you.

What’s new

This Year’s WordPress Default Theme, Twenty Seventeen, Is Now Available

wptwentyseventeentheme

“Great looking theme!” –Jason Thornberry

Independent Publisher 2 Is Here

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The Independent Publisher theme has long been beloved for its simplicity and legibility, and we’re happy to announce that it has been improved, ever so slightly. Read our interview with the designers, Caroline Moore and Kjell Reigstad.

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