Monday, December 3, 2018

Paul Kindlon — The Psychological Origins of American Russophobia

Narrative creation operates based on pattern-recognition and repetition. "Tell a lie big enough and often enough and ….
The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous. — Joseph Goebbles, Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik, quoted in Big Lie at Wikipedia
 Paul Kindlon explains the mechanism.
 The psychological reason behind this trick has to do with “pattern recognition”. Human beings – through evolution – have learned to identify a phenomenon as real and true because it repeats again and again and again. After a while, the mind interprets this consistent pattern as proof of truth value. In psychological terms, “schemata” are created by a layering of memories similar in nature over time so that all events associated with the phenomenon are perceived through a prism of previous repetitions. In other words, even if a certain type of behavior is different from the norm it will still be identified as belonging to the typical pattern regardless. It is literally a trick of the mind…
This process induces the cognitive biases of anchoring and confirmation bias.

Russia Insider
The Psychological Origins of American Russophobia
Paul Kindlon | Professor of Humanities (1994-2017)
Moscow University Touro, Russia


Visual Capitalist
24 Cognitive Biases That Are Warping Your Perception of Reality
Jeff Desjardins

1 comment:

Konrad said...

“They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”

Many lies are persuasive precisely because they are ridiculous. When there is cognitive dissonance between common sense and a lie, people often cope with the dissonance by defending the lie. The more ridiculous the lie, the more people have cognitive dissonance, and the more they defend the absurdity.

Senator Roark explained this in “Sin City” (2005).

”Power comes from lying. Lying big and getting the whole world to play along with you. Once you’ve got everyone agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain’t true, you’ve got ‘em by the balls.”

When a ridiculous lie becomes “true,” society attacks anyone who points out the absurdity.


Little boy: Mommy, the Emperor has no clothes.

The crowd: That little boy is a freak, a conspiracy theorist, a terrorist!

Sometimes people cope with cognitive dissonance by pretending it does not exist.


Person A: After every war, the victors write the history books.

Person B: Are there no exceptions?

Person A: No. Never. Anyone who thinks his nation is an exception is deluded.

Person B: Okay, what about everything the victors claim about World War II?

Person A: That’s an exception. If you don’t accept this, then you are an anti-Semite.


24 Cognitive Biases That Are Warping Your Perception of Reality
By Jeff Desjardins

This is excellent. Everyone should read this again and again, every day of their lives.


The Psychological Origins of American Russophobia
By Paul Kindlon

“The main reason so many Americans buy into the anti-Russian craze is not only due to what people are told by the government and media, but by how they think and process information. For if Americans were taught how to analyze and think properly they would not fall for the blatant propaganda. “

Many people believe lies because they prefer to live in a dream world in which “their side” are “good,” while competitors are “evil.” They treat international relations like a football game. The USA is their “team,” while Russia (or Iran or North Korea or whatever) is the competing “team,” and must be destroyed. As the article says, “People enjoy having a ‘bad guy’ to hate. We love our ‘anti-heroes’ more than our heroes. Putin is the prototypical ‘baddie.’ He satisfies our need to boo and hiss the proverbial bad guy.”

“We are told that the Nazis discovered the secret of repetition as a means of programming people into believing something to be true, but we are not taught why this practice is so effective.”

The Nazis did not discover this. In antiquity, everyone who used Roman coins was repeatedly reminded of the emperor’s “divinity.” Edward Bernays formalized the principles of propaganda in the 1920s.

“Truth always wins out over time, and fantasy gives way to reality.”

Except when lies and fantasy become a faith-based religion, in which case they never die (e.g. the six million™ nonsense).