Recently I was having a kind of discussion/debate with my mother and my sister about those acts of "faith" that are exposed in evangelistic churches where the pastors do great acts comparable to that of the magicians and illusionists where they are able to accomplish all kinds of things, acts where they cure ailments, emotional impacts, traumas, in short where they recreate a kind of "miraculous acts". They kept insisting that everything came from a divine power that was transmitted through the pastor as an instrument of faith, but for me they were nothing more than demonstrations of how susceptible and manipulable people can be, after all as a woman of science (who also believe in religion) I am very skeptical of that kind of thing because the psychology of the mind if well used is capable of achieving all kinds of actions and instant changes in people.
Each person tends to have a very particular perception of himself, it could be said that everyone has a definition that describes them perfectly. In addition to having a definition of our own, obviously, we also make a definition of others, basically a way to personalize the reality we have around us and the people who coexist with us in that reality.
There is also a third definition or idea that we usually create and has to do with the idea of how we or other people can think or be involved and affected by things.
The third-person effect.
The third person effect, like those of my last post, is also a cognitive distortion that directly affects our way of believing and seeing things, basically, this distortion takes over our beliefs, because when we incur this distortion we tend to consider that the others are more susceptible and manipulable than we are.
For example, in the presence of this distortion, we tend to believe that any advertising or argument of any kind that contains an element of persuasion and conviction, will have zero or low effects on us, while we think that other people will probably be totally affected and that consequently, they will modify their beliefs.
Basically, it is creating little by little a feeling of denial.
This effect is denominated as "third person" since basically the people affected adopt a thought of denial so firm that they include their closest beings in this belief, that is, they will not believe their friends or family are affected by persuasions and manipulations.
In other words: We adopt a position where neither the people we call "I" nor consider "you" will be easily persuaded, but those whom we consider or denominate as him/her with a certain imprecision, we consider them more susceptible.
How does that belief begin?
Usually, this distortion manifests itself in most people, that is, it does not involve any pathology. But once it appears, it is necessary to ask ourselves:
Why is it that we have adopted such a belief? And on the one hand, this distortion supposes that we adopt a kind of negation, but also an overvaluation of our capacity to resist an attempt at persuasion, while on the other it supposes an underestimation of the resilience of others towards persuasion attempts...
Adopting this position will only cause the persuasion attempts directed towards us to have a greater effect on us.
The conclusions about this distortion are not totally direct, nor precise since there are many divided opinions. Many psychologists have concluded that this distortion is generated when we believe ourselves superior to someone else, something that generates an overconfidence that makes us believe invulnerable to any attempt of mental manipulation.
Manifestation of this distortion.
One of the main factors that influence is the message, an unclear message, formulated in a generic way and with little specificity and with a somewhat abstract theme has a greater tendency to generate a third-person effect, since we see it as something vague and very shallow. However, we adopt this only for ourselves, because no matter how basic the message, we can not stop thinking that others will be affected.
Another determining factor in the manifestation of the third-person effect is the definition or relationship we have with the issuer. Usually, if we have a very bad opinion of who transmits the message, we will tend to think that his message will have no effect on us. Basically, it closely resembles the tendency of not believing in what someone else exclaims to know.
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