Advertising
Advertising

You’ll No Longer Be Fooled by Skillful Liars If You Know This Concept

You’ll No Longer Be Fooled by Skillful Liars If You Know This Concept

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who was convincing you about something, only to find out later they left out half the story? It’s easy to find yourself taking a stance and forming opinions based on a single side of things, especially if the information presented seems very declarative and all-encompassing.

But card-stacking – also known as cherry picking, a one-sided argument or suppressing evidence – intentionally seeks to make people believe one side is the entire story.[1] This can lead to false conclusions, misinformation or a complete misunderstanding of a situation.

Advertising

It can also have a devastating impact on our lives, socially or politically. One of the most prominent issues in media news today comes from the development of two narratives in media reporting that stem from willful card-stacking on the part of mostly conservative media organizations.[2] You can even see the issue take place on a smaller, personal scale, when two individuals have an argument and people take sides after hearing just one version of events.

Card stacking tricks you by giving you the false impression that you’re fully educated on a subject

Card stacking works by not just presenting only one side of an argument but intentionally suppressing a listener’s knowledge of other arguments or evidence related to a subject. Commonly employed in political ads or public relations campaigns, card stacking gives the listener the false impression that they’re being fully educated on a subject when they may in fact be presented with misinformation or information taken out of context.

Advertising

For example, someone wanting to defend a John Doe may take a quote that says “I do not support John Doe and dislike him, although many people say he is a great man,” and then present someone only with “Many people say he is a great man.” This would technically not be a wrong quote, but it is willfully taken out of context in order to bolster a particular argument. It provides a listener with what appears to be solid evidence, thereby appealing to a sense of authority, and discourages the listener from questioning the accuracy of the quote.

On a larger scale, this can involve intentionally providing testimonials or evidence that comes to a particular conclusion, while willfully ignoring, leaving out or failing to seek out information or testimonials that leads to a different conclusion.

Advertising

Some biased political polls is done based on the concept of card stacking

Cherry picking often comes down to a misrepresentation of events or information based on presenting an analysis that is incomplete or incorrect. Some biased political polls, for example, are conducted in such a way to obtain opinions from primarily older people who haven’t abandoned old habits – such as having a landline – leading to a conservative slant in poll responses.[3] Or they will call only cell phones, which leads to a decidedly liberal slant. Although this isn’t an example of willful cherry picking, it is an example of a well-known weakness in polling methods that political pundits may intentionally ignore or fail to mention when presenting the poll results.

The sense of skepticism is the best tool to combat card stacking

Individuals can combat this by learning to keep skepticism about them when receiving information from creepy guy types and other unreliable sources.[4] When someone provides you with a quote, search for the full context the quote was delivered in to understand precisely what the speaker meant.

Advertising

If an expert presents you with a poll analysis, search for the compiled poll results yourself, and then look at the methodology used to conduct the poll.

During an argument between two individuals, make the effort to listen to both stories (as well as other testimony) in order to understand both perspectives, rather than drawing a conclusion from one.

In general, a sense of skepticism about the information presented to you and a willingness to search for original data yourself will keep you from falling prey to card stacking misinformation. By learning to take the search for information into your own hands, you soon learn how to identify misrepresentation off the bat, which sources can be trusted and which cannot, and how to effectively form your own opinion about a subject. Make yourself an independent thinker and don’t let anyone manipulate you with misinformation or cherry picking.

Reference

More by this author

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With 8 Signs You Have A Strong Personality That Might Scare Some People How to Achieve Quick Success at Work Even If You’re Lacking in Clear Direction You’ll No Longer Be Fooled by Skillful Liars If You Know This Concept How I Kill Boredom at Work to Regain My Productivity

Trending in Productivity

1 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works) 2 15 Highly Successful People Who Failed On Their Way To Success 3 14 Powerful Leadership Traits That All Great Leaders Have 4 Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony 5 40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2019 Updated)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on June 18, 2019

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

Advertising

From Making Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

Advertising

The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

Advertising

But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

Advertising

Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More About Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

Read Next