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Articles on Beliefs

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Young women members of the Charles Manson family kneel on the sidewalk outside the Los Angeles at Hall of Justice March 29, 1971, with their heads shaved. Wally Fong/AP

Religious lies, conmen and coercive control: how cults corrupt our desire for love and connection

What is the appeal of cults? How do they work? And what is the damage they do? A new book, by the creator of the podcast Let’s Talk About Sects, answers these questions and more.
However Rodgers came to his decision to remain unvaccinated, he did not follow the tenets of critical thinking. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers dropped the ball on critical thinking – with a little practice you can do better

Critical thinking means seeking out new information – especially facts that might run contrary to what you believe – and being willing to change your mind. And it’s a teachable skill.
Sticking to your beliefs in a rapidly changing world isn’t necessarily the best choice. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Changing your mind about something as important as vaccination isn’t a sign of weakness – being open to new information is the smart way to make choices

People tend to stick with their stated beliefs. But here’s how external forces like vaccine mandates can push people to do something they don’t want to do – and provide some face-saving cover.
These psychological tendencies explain why an onslaught of facts won’t necessarily change anyone’s mind. Francesco Carta fotografo/Moment via Getty Images

Your brain’s built-in biases insulate your beliefs from contradictory facts

Cognitive shortcuts help you efficiently move through a complicated world. But they come with an unwelcome side effect: Facts aren’t necessarily enough to change your mind.
Imagination and play encourage children to think through hypothetical situations and create new worlds — and even to develop new possibilities for our shared world. (Shutterstock)

Why it’s OK for kids to believe in Santa

For many children, the anticipation of Santa’s imminent journey down the chimney to deliver gifts is nothing but magical.

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