THE WAR IN OUR HEADS
BBC Focus - Science & Technology|Summer 2020
THE WAR IN OUR HEADS
In these strange times, it can be tough to get definite answers. To compensate, our brains seek solace in conspiracy theories
KATE COPELAND

The human brain loves patterns. It’s built to make one and one equal two and to see inappropriate things in Rorschach tests. Psychologically speaking, we lean on patterns as a way to make light work of a world of random stimulation. So when things don’t add up, we feel uncertain. Our response is to look for anything to avoid the dissonance of not knowing where we stand.

Welcome to our COVID-19 world. We don’t know what’s going on right now. Nobody does. There are a lot of incredibly smart people doing some hardcore detective work to get to the bottom of this pandemic, but in the meantime, the rest of us are on the receiving end of conflicting messages from all sides.

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Summer 2020