Why do People Stick to their Incorrect Opinions?

  • Why do people stick to their beliefs even when all the evidence is against them?
  • Why would a person retain a belief even though it’s too obvious to everyone that it’s incorrect?
  • Why would someone strongly believe that aliens abducted him or that he talks to ghosts?

In the image below, that structure is likely to become unstable if the yellow block was removed. Even though the yellow block has a different color than the rest of the structure, still its existence is essential for the structure to remain intact.

Now, what if someone tried to remove the yellow block to replace it with one that has a better color? In such a case, if the structure had a brain of its own, it would resist this change as much as it can because it threatens its stability.

What does this have to do with people and their beliefs?

Most people don’t develop beliefs based on what’s true and what’s not, but they build their beliefs in such a way to support the structure of their personalities.

Dan was a white man who never managed to unleash his true potential when it comes to working. Dan developed feelings of inferiority a long time ago, and because he wasn’t brave enough to pursue his goals, these feelings remained intact.

Because all humans need to feel good about themselves, Dan started looking for any other way to feel superior other than success in life, and this is where media gave him a great temporary fix.

The indirect messages from the media hint that white people are better than black people appealed to him so much. Dan started becoming a racist, and as he strongly believed that white people are better than black ones.

Do you know why Dan developed that belief and held on to it?

  1. It’s because letting go of this belief will remind him of his own inferiority!
  2. It means that he will become no longer superior.
  3. It means that he will remember the fact that he was a coward.

Why do people stick to their incorrect opinions?

People stick to their incorrect beliefs, even when they realize that they are wrong, to maintain their psychological stability.

When people use beliefs to fill the psychological gaps in their personalities, they no longer care about their beliefs. Still, they become focused on the consequences that might happen if they let go of that belief.

“If I don’t see Ghosts or talk to them, then this means I am like everyone else. It might mean I am not special in any way. I still believe I see them” This is how a person’s subconscious mind might be thinking about an important belief.

Do people really believe in their incorrect beliefs?

Certainly yes. After all, it would seem like a cheap lie if a person realized that the reason he is sticking to a belief is that he needs to believe in it.

And this is where the brain comes in with its tricks to prove to that person that the belief is really true. The brain starts to filter all the information that proves the belief wrong, puts down those who support it, judges those who go against it, and highlights any tiny clue that proves it.

This is also the same reason people who have low self-confidence believe that they look down on them. It’s all about how the mind changes the perception to alter the incoming information.

Many people hold incorrect beliefs and defend them eagerly, not because they truly believe in them but because they need these beliefs to be true to maintain mental stability. For them, giving up on the belief might be interpreted as a threat to their self-confidence, intelligence, self-image, or whatever they are trying to protect.

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