Stupidity seems to be contagious, study finds


Date: 2011-06-20 14:16:59

So better ‘check the evidence’, read cognoscence and other alternative news aggregators (a list of can be found at for example)… Stupidity seems to be contagious, study finds

Mindless fluff may harm you intellectuallyBY MISTY HARRIS, POSTMEDIA NEWSJUNE 16, 2011 Warning: the mindless summer movies, books and television you’re enjoying may be harmful to your intellectual health. A new study suggests that when people don’t think critically about their media consumption, they’re in danger of assimilating some of the mental characteristics on display. Specifically, researchers found that if the main character in a screenplay was a total imbecile, and people weren’t expressly asked to identify differences between themselves and that protagonist, the participants’ own cognitive skills were compromised. In other words, stupidity appears to be contagious -if only temporarily. “It’s not like a disease, where once you have it, you have it for a long time; we’re not saying you’ll be impaired the day after reading a stupid story or watching TV,” says study author Markus Appel, an associate professor at Johannes Kepler University of Linz in Austria. “But we do show that performance in knowledge tests is susceptible to fictional characters.” Just as video games put players at the centre of the action, Appel says storytelling implicitly asks people to identify with the characters on some level. And just as video games have been (controversially) linked to behaviour, stories can have a transformative effect on people’s thinking. […]

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