Here are some interesting stuff to read from Singapore papers during the past week. The first one is by Andy Ho of The Straits Times on How Hypnosis can implant false memories, which he warns about the dangers unethical hypnotherapists. But what I find most interesting about the article was his highlighted quote:
"Should a false assertion be repeated often enough, the hearer will become increasingly familiar with it. Increasing familiarity tends to be interpreted as evidence of truth. This is why 'abductees' are convinced that they really were abducted."
The abductees Ho is referring to were patients who were told by their hypnotherapist that theirs hallucinations about being kidnapped by aliens were real. The quote here is interesting in my opinion as it shows how malleable the mind is to suggestion.
The greater irony is that the mainstream media carries a piece on how a lie often repeated becomes truth. Here, I am referring to the affordability of HDB Housing. What you have personally experienced, do you think HDB flats are affordable compared to your parents time? Do you believe or are you led to believe that HDB prices will only trend higher in perpetuity, hence justifying the debt servicing? We should not always trust politicians as it is their job to obfuscate, but those that pontificate and moralize are quite repulsive.
Another article that I chanced upon is by Teh Hooi Ling of The Business Times titled Enriching power of self-affirmation. You can access the link after 6pm but here is a short extract:
"The power of self-affirmation is tremendous. According the Sherman and Cohen, people's closed-mindedness and biased processing of information stem from their need to protect a valued identity or self-view. 'Because long-held beliefs are often tied to important identities, they may be given up only with great reluctance, and they may be embraced even when they conflict with the demands of fact, logic, or material self-interest,' they wrote. 'Yet, people possess other important identities and values that they can draw on when they encounter belief-threatening information. Providing them with an affirmation of one of these alternative sources of self-integrity should enable them to evaluate the threatening information in a less biased and defensive manner.'" (inter-text quotes in bold)
The quote is quite a read but bow does this tie-up with today's post? If you read the rest of the article, it teaches you how to communicate with people who have beliefs that differ from you. Despite our hyper-mediatized age, human-to-human interactions are very important. Unlike on the internet where you can flame /troll, another forummer to oblivion, being able to communicate effectively to a physical human being means possible job promotions or other opportunities. With the exception of Facebook founder, material, spiritual an emotional success depends on how well you handle yourself and other people.