“truthiness” is a word coined by Stephen Colbert that is used to describe the feeling that something is true because it feels right or proper or true, but the message remains an opinion not supported by evidence or careful reasoning, so it may or may not be true.
Why draw conclusions without research? Because it’s the path of least resistance – the easiest way? Should everyone be a scientist to some extent?
And what have scientists found out about truthiness?
In an article by Travis Riddle in “Scientific American” magazine, he tells us what makes something come across like truth and what can help make something seem more truthful.
Scientists have found that an appropriate image next to a statement and the existence of related information near a statement both enhance a person’s feeling of that statement being true without additional proof or testimony.
Does this mean that we are being influenced without being aware of it and tell us that our thoughts and actions can be manipulated easily without revealing an obvious attempt to do so?
Having suspected it and now that there’s reason to think it’s true, should I pay more attention or just go with the flow?
Is a claim just a claim? Even one that’s almost common sense or where you become aware of good feeling coming from your gut after viewing an appropriate image or related information close by?
The article by Travis Riddle in “Scientific American” magazine ends this way:
“There are many instances in which trusting the truth which comes from your gut could mean that you’re subscribing to something less than the truth. In other words: if it feels good, question it.”