The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe

“Anyone who engages in social media witnesses the attribution error on a regular basis. Not only is there a tendency to assume other people’s motivations; we hastily infer their arguments and positions, based upon the pigeonhole into which we think they fit. Without listening to what they are actually saying, charitably interpreting that, and giving them an opportunity to clarify their position, we risk attributing a position to them that they don’t have, attacking a straw man, and then looking foolish. I’ve seen these exchanges rapidly degrade into mutual accusations of being a troll. There are real trolls out there, but sometimes trolling is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes we can be the troll.”

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