Episode 42 of the Brain Science Podcast is a discussion of On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not, by Robert Burton, MD. This Part 1 of a two-part discussion of the unconscious origins of what Dr. Burton calls "the feeling of knowing." In Episode 43 I will interview Dr. Burton. Today's episode provides an overview of Dr. Burton's key ideas.
In past episodes I have discussed the role of unconscious decision-making. On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not ,by Robert Burton, MD, takes this topic to a new level. First, Dr. Burton discusses the evidence that the "feeling of knowing" arises from parts of our brain that we can neither access or control. Then he discusses the implications of this finding, including the fact that it challenges long-held assumptions about the possibility of purely rational thought.
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References and Links:
- On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not, by Robert Burton, MD.
- Robert Burton's website.
- Neisser, U., and Harsh, N. "Phantom Flashbulbs: False Recollections of Hearing the News about Challenger," in Affect and Accuracy in Recall: Studies of "Flashbulb" Memories, Winograd, E., and Neisser, U., (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992).
- The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers, by Daniel L. Schacter.
- The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness, by Antonio Damasio.
- Philosophy in the Flesh : The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson.
Other scientists mentioned in this episode:
- Leon Festinger-proposed the theory of cognitive dissonance in 1957.
- Joseph Ledoux-research with rats and the role of the amygdala in the fear response.
- Michael Merzenich-showed how the auditory cortex in young rats is affected by experience.
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