This is borne out in the data in our Perceptions survey. One question we asked participants was "How do you judge if electronic information is trustworthy?" 86% of all respondents answered: "based on personal knowledge/common sense." This is hilariously awful....because we can all dig up stories about the number of people who think Venezuala is the leading importer of oil to the US, or that China is the biggest trading partner of the US, or that certain kinds of weapons were found in Iran, or that young adults can't locate Indonesia on a map. Or closer to home, how many times have I been told by librarians that there are many people in their communities with no access to the Internet...? Lots. And when I ask what data support that, I've yet to be shown any.
According to The Futurist article, Kida identifies six reasons for mistakes in our "personal knowledge/common sense."
- we prefer stories to statistics
- we seek to confirm, not question, our ideas
- we rarely appreciate the role of chance and coincidence in shaping events
- we sometimes misperceive the world around us
- we tend to oversimplify our thinking
- our memories are often inaccurate
There's an interview with Kida about this book here.
"The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory." Paul Fix