Why People Believe Weird Things

You only have to pick up a magazine or paper that has the most astounding headlines to wonder how anyone could believe that it is true. Could a person really have been abducted by aliens? Did that man really eat a car? Even for the most liberal thinkers some of the headlines are not just fantastically improbable they are beyond the realms of fantasy.

If you look at some of the stories that have been told in history (the earth is not flat), have sounded unbelievable at the time but the type of weird things we are focussing on here is the type of things that can be proven to be false. But a good headline sells papers.

How often have you been looking at the news on the internet only to come across a headline that seems so weird that you just have to click on the link just to find out if it is true? In truth most of us would do this only to find that the headline did not really match up with the content of the article. We were falsely sold sensationalism. This does not mean that we actually believed the headline but it was weird enough to get our attention.

But what about the people who actually believe the weird stuff, like the story of the woman who is relating her experience of living on a space ship of aliens for a year, who believes that? The believers may have a sense of naivety about them, they may lack the ability to decide between truth and fantasy. We are all allowed our dreams.

On the other hand when there is a group of people who all believe in the same weird thing they then become a cult. Usually people who are lonely or just have difficulty in social relationships they are very open to being with a group of people that are on the edge of ordinary in their beliefs. If the group are not bothering others (the non-believers), then they are not a threat to other people. But it is a problem when people are not allowed to leave the group.

Generally at one time we all show an interest in something that sounds a bit weird but the interest does not last long as we can usually see through it and common sense takes over. We then know that it was not just impossible it was weird.

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