Anyone else wanna talk about gullibility?

How gullible are you? Do you know anyone who is especially gullible or particularly cynical? I came across a study about gullibility and thought this would be a good place to discuss it.

Life’s Harsh Lessons ‘Make You More Gullible’

The takeaway summary: “The study found that while some people may indeed become more ‘hard-nosed’ through adversity, the majority become less trusting of their own judgement.” Seemingly paradoxical at first, but it does make sense.

In terms of reasoning and arguments (at least on a forum I trust, like this one), I’m pretty gullible. When someone presents an argument on a topic I don’t know much about, and they sound reasonable, I pretty much agree with them. Until two posts later, when someone knowledgeable rebuts it point-for-point, at which point I pretty much agree with that person. Until four posts later when the original poster reasonably rebuts the rebuttal–etc, etc.

After plenty of introspection (and enough waffling on various topics to give me metaphorical whiplash), I’ve come to understand that this is a personal weakness. So I try to do more research of my own and increase my knowledge, rather than posting hastily-formed opinions and looking like an idiot. That’s a good thing. But I wish I could just be less gullible in the first place! :mad:

Sorry, but I hate it when people start discussions about “non-words” that aren’t in any but the worst online wiki-dictionaries.

It’s a perfectly fine word. There are other sources than wiki’s.
If you don’t like the topic, don’t read it.

I guess you’re one?

Whoooossshhhh! :smiley:

So you fell for it, huh? :stuck_out_tongue:

Do you know the joke about the guy jumping up and down on a manhole cover shouting, “Twenty-four! Twenty-four!”?

…“Twenty-five! Twenty-five!” :smiley:

I’m gullible, but I like to think I’ve gotten better as I’ve gotten older and more learned about stuff. Also, with more maturity I’ve come to realize that everyone, including the resident know-it-all, can get their facts wrong. So when someone tells me some “interesting” bit of trivia that sounds really crazy, instead of swalllowing it whole, I’ll file it away and confirm with my own research. I’ll pretend to be impressed, though. Unless it’s a person I don’t like.

But I fear I will always be slow to pick up sarcasm and “gotchas!” I don’t know how to fix this type of gullibility, but I sure wish I did.

It makes a lot of sense to me. Get punched in the face often enough and you stop thinking you’re invincible, and probably have lower Dunning-Kruger effect about your ability to avoid being punched in the face than others.

The more you see, the more you realize you don’t know.

I guess the ideal way to think is open-minded but skeptical. We don’t need to make most decisions in a hurry, and it’s okay not to know what the facts are or exactly how we think/feel about them. I think a lot of us (I am definitely included) make snap decisions about a lot of things that don’t in any way require a snap decision, which means we are often operating with too few facts.

You shouldn’t measure gullibility by how easily you are persuaded in an internet forum; instead you should measure it by how easily you can be persuaded to part with your money.

Thanks for the laughs. ha! :o

This is a very good point. I like to feel ways about stuff. So I like to have opinions about things (various current events, political happenings, etc) just in case I’m ever asked about them or involved in a conversation where they’re mentioned. But you’re right, it’s generally pointless. It doesn’t matter to anyone but me whether I have an opinion about those things in the first place.

Thanks for the insight!

Well, this wouldn’t necessarily be an accurate measure for someone who hasn’t had much money to part with.

Good point–I like thinking about it in terms of stakes. I don’t believe I’ve ever been gulled out of money, and in fact I’m very much a “market maven” who always looks for good deals, and watches out for hidden costs.

But less than a week ago, I blushed to discover how gullible I was when there were no financial stakes on the line: I totally fell for Bob Mondello’s review on NPR of a putative Keanu Reeves Citizen Kane remake (in 3D!). I didn’t realise my error until I looked up the film on IMDB, d’oh. :smack:

(To be fair, I was listening to a two-day-old “most emailed stories” podcast on April 3, so my radar was not as prepared for an April Fool’s joke.)

The study referenced above analyzes a whole 60 cases.

I’m thinking the article may, perhaps unintentionally, be a little self-demonstrating.