Human beings have a great capacity for sticking to false beliefs with great passion and tenacity. Hyper-rational scientists are not immune. (Lipton, Bruce, PhD. The Biology of Belief. P. 16. CA:Mountain of Love/Elite Books, 2005)

The memory of the sense of one’s body becomes so ingrained in the neural circuits governing self-experience that the brain has difficulty reorganizing itself after a crippling accident or stroke. If painful enough, the person may not be able to accept the truth. A false belief can be constructed, triggering an emotional memory that feels utterly present and real (e.g., man with phantom erections after penis removal; person ‘sees’ fat on their body where there is none in anorexia nervosa). fMRI scans showed that the sensory motor areas of the body do not distinguish between imaginary and actual images and activities. (Newberg, Andrew, MD and Mark Robert Waldman. Why We Believe What We Believe. P 61-62, 98. NY:Free Press, 2006)

As long as a person doesn’t encounter visual evidence to the contrary, superstitious beliefs can continue without interruption until a satisfying alternative explanation is embraced. In the past, magical thinking was considered a respectable philosophy, since it provided adequate explanations for mysterious events. (White, M. Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer. NY:Perseus, 1998)

A child’s perceptual and cognitive evaluations of people’s moods and feelings are often different from those of an adult. Childhood memories and beliefs turn out to be particularly inaccurate and can be easily influenced—even falsified—by other people. Because they’ve been repeated and reinforced over many years, however, those memories are often the least likely to be modified or rejected as a result of later experiences and beliefs. The power of emotion can turn fantasy into a supposed fact. False memories are more difficult to dismiss, perhaps because the dissonance between fact and fiction causes a stronger emotional reaction within the limbic areas, which in turn interfere with one’s ability to use logic and reason in evaluation beliefs about the world. (Newberg, Andrew, MD and Mark Robert Waldman. Why We Believe What We Believe. P 106-112. NY:Free Press, 2006)

The more traumatic an event, the more likely the victim is to construct beliefs that border on the bizarre. (McNally, R. Remembered trauma. MA:Harvard University Press, 2003.)

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