The word from Washington: “Searching the Internet for information may make people feel smarter than they actually are, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.”
As usual, large results are being interpolated from a small sample of “152 to 302 participants,” but I did enjoy this from the experiments: “[P]articipants had an inflated sense of their own knowledge after searching the Internet even when they couldn’t find the information they were looking for.” [emphasis added] This is said to have “surprised the researchers,” which indicates they probably need to do more work with confirmation bias.
Let me – after a quick glance at the Wikipedia – show off my own intelligence by quoting:
a) Dante: “Opinion — hasty — often can incline to the wrong side, and then affection for one’s own opinion binds, confines the mind.”
b) Francis Bacon: “The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion … draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects or despises, or else by some distinction sets aside or rejects…”
c) Leo Tolstoy: “I know that most men — not only those considered clever, but even those who are very clever, and capable of understanding most difficult scientific, mathematical, or philosophic problems — can very seldom discern even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as to oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have formed, perhaps with much difficulty — conclusions of which they are proud, which they have taught to others, and on which they have built their lives.”