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Gullible Children And Gullible Adults - Society
Gullible Children And Gullible Adults - Society

Video: Gullible Children And Gullible Adults - Society

Video: Gullible Children And Gullible Adults - Society

When I plan teen psychological groups, I always include a class in which children understand how easy it is to fall into the clutches of scammers, especially on the Internet

At the first meeting, I always tell them about the phrase, after hearing which from an adult they should turn on the alarm in their head and run to tell mom and dad about it.

This phrase: "Just don't tell your parents, let it be our little secret."

Gullible children and gullible adults 2
Gullible children and gullible adults 2

Secret knowledge

I always emphasize that this rule also applies to me - I am also a stranger, an adult, so confidentiality works only in one direction: I have no right to talk outside the group about what is happening in it, and they can tell whatever they want, but just not about other participants and their secrets that they entrusted to us. Then we talk a few sessions on other topics.

And then I assign my "special" occupation. I start by telling teenagers in a confidential voice that there is one professional secret, the knowledge of which makes life much easier. And I am ready to share it, but on condition that they promise not to tell anyone, not even their parents: this is my earnings. Well, the more people know about it, the worse it works.

And … they agree amicably. Always! Smart, thinking teenagers, you know? The fact is that at this moment curiosity, my authority as a person who understands them and as a professional, the illusion of my safety (I really am safe for them, but they cannot know this for sure), the desire to find out the "secret secret" turns off critical thinking.

This feature of human thinking is used with pleasure by scammers and manipulators

Naturally, after that I remind them of the first lesson and the rule of "disturbing phrase", to which they almost chorus answer me: "Well, it's you!" Then I explain to them what happened, and we reinforce the rule at a more conscious level.

We start talking about internet security, manipulators and scammers. And all the guys together tell me how smart and invulnerable they are, how well they are able to recognize the "bad guys". I commend them for their awareness and intelligence, and invite you to familiarize yourself with the test results that they took in the last lesson. Here is the test. I also suggest you go through it and continue reading the article only after passing.

test what kind of personality you are
test what kind of personality you are
Gullible children and gullible adults
Gullible children and gullible adults

Illusion of truth

Have you learned something new about yourself?

Now I will tell you what we are doing in the lesson next. I ask the guys to read the test results so that others do not see it. I ask, like you, to rate the test results on a five-point scale. Nobody ever bets less than 4.

And then I ask you to show your result to a neighbor. The first reaction is a funny bewilderment: are my neighbor and me so similar? Then they notice that all the couples in the group exchange glances in the same amusement and bewilderment. I let them enjoy the moment and ask them to read the other guys' results. The realization that the "results" for everyone are exactly the same is usually accompanied by a friendly laugh.

Back in 1948, American psychologist Bertram Forer conducted a similar experiment with his students, so the resulting effect was called the Forer effect.

The essence of this phenomenon is that a sense of the seriousness of testing, an individual approach, the authority of the tester, the vagueness and generalization of formulations, as a result, create the illusion of truthfulness in almost all people.

It is on this effect that horoscopes, socionics, fortune telling and other pseudoscientific methods "work". People who are aware of this effect (not necessarily scientifically, perhaps intuitively, at a household level, like gypsies) can quite successfully manipulate others.

For example, if you write to 10 teenage kids in a personal message something like “You are probably often sad and lonely? And nobody understands you? - half of the addressees will have the feeling that they are being written by a person who magically feels them and is on the same wavelength with them. Just because almost all adolescents experience these sensations at one time or another, this is a feature of age. And this is the first step towards frankness and trust in this person.

If you choose for the mailing those guys who have sad pictures and songs on the VK wall, then the hit will be almost one hundred percent.

Authoritative opinions

Do you think adults have robust immunity against this effect? But no - most adults, reasonable people also fail this "test with a test." And this has nothing to do with either the level of education or the notorious IQ.

This is how our brain works, because the accumulation of knowledge in society occurs faster if there are authorities who can be trusted in their area of competence and not delve into the details ourselves.

And the feeling that you are understood is vital for the highest species of social beings, since it is the basis of social interaction and a powerful help for the survival of the species

Get your teenager to the computer, refresh the page, read the beginning of the article together, and let him take the test. Then ask: How similar are the results to him?

Read the article together and be sure to discuss it with him. Let him give his examples, think together. And be sure to laugh at the results together: having fun together is what brings us and our kids together best!