Confabulation: we verzinnen ons verhaal achteraf

Lisa Bortolotti beschrijft in een artikel op Aeon het fenomeen ‘confabulation’. Een experiment laat zien wat met die term bedoeld wordt.

…psychologists Richard E Nisbett and Timothy Wilson at the University of Michigan laid out a range of items, such as pairs of stockings, and asked people to select one. Participants consistently preferred the items on their most right-hand side. But when they were asked to explain their choices, they did not mention the position of the items, and instead attributed their choices to the superior texture or colour of the chosen pair of stockings, even when the displayed pairs were all identical. People confabulated. Not knowing some of the factors that were determining their choices, they produced an explanation that was not based on evidence relevant to the factors determining their choices, but mentioned instead plausible reasons why the chosen item was better.

‘To confabulate’ is de term die gebruikt wordt in het Engels wanneer we een fictief verhaal aan onszelf vertellen, en tegelijk geloven dat het verhaal waar is. Lees de rest van het artikel waarin Bortolotti beschrijft dat ‘confabulation’ iets is om te vermijden én ook een voordeel kan zijn: Confabulation: why telling ourselves stories makes us feel ok.

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