Repeat After Me: With Guests Jennifer LeMesurier & Tali Sharot

March 11, 2024
Why is it that when we see the same statement multiple times, we are more likely to believe it's true?
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One realm in which often-repeated maxims can take on the illusion of absolute truth is stock trading. 

One realm in which often-repeated maxims can take on the illusion of absolute truth is stock trading. 

Should You Trust Popular Trading Proverbs?" episode of the Financial Decoder podcast to learn about the kernels of truth that trading maxims offer—but how the reality of executing trading strategies is much more nuanced. " role="dialog" aria-label="

One realm in which often-repeated maxims can take on the illusion of absolute truth is stock trading. 

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One realm in which often-repeated maxims can take on the illusion of absolute truth is stock trading. 

Vitamin C is a cure for the common cold. Bats are blind. Sugar makes children hyperactive.

All of these statements are false. So why are they so pervasive? And why do they feel so true?

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at a phenomenon that can cause us to believe inaccurate information more than we should, and also lead us to trust reliable information less than we should.

If you’re over a certain age, you might remember friends or family panicking about MSG, or monosodium glutamate, particularly in American Chinese food. But those health concerns stemmed from a single letter to the editor in The New England Journal of Medicine—and a media storm that repeated false information. Jennifer LeMesurier learned about this letter and set off on a journey to trace the origins of the MSG scare and find out why the myths about this ingredient are so persistent. 

Jennifer LeMesurier is an associate professor of writing and rhetoric at Colgate University and the author of Inscrutable Eating: Asian Appetites and the Rhetorics of Racial Consumption.

Next, Katy speaks with Tali Sharot about her research on the illusory truth effect—the idea that people are more likely to believe and share repeated information, whether or not the information is accurate.

You can learn more in the paper Tali co-authored, titled "The Illusory Truth Effect Leads to the Spread of Misinformation."

Tali Sharot is a professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London and an affiliated professor in MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Her most recent book, co-authored with Cass R. Sunstein, is Look Again: The Power of Noticing What Was Always There.

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The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab.

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