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Why People Accept the Words “Deadly Radiation” as the Truth

September 13, 2012

How often have you been puzzled or frustrated by people who make instant decisions about “deadly radiation” with little or no data? How can people make such quick judgments about radiation with limited knowledge? The answer has to do with the way our subconscious mind processes information for our protection. Our subconscious mind is constantly scanning all information and sensory inputs to detect anything not normal and to predict dangers to be avoided. This process functions by quickly associating such inputs with all previous experience and memories to predict what is coming next. We are not aware of this process which is completely automatic and requires no conscious effort. Our subconscious is continually updating answers to key questions. Is anything new happening now? Is there any threat? Should my attention be redirected? Is more conscious effort warranted for some task at hand? Our subconscious is at ease when things seem normal. We will have a greater sense of ease based on familiarity of words that we have often heard before.

Ease and Familiarity

Since the media has reported the words “deadly radiation” for over 60 years most people are now unconsciously primed to hear those words as familiar. Because of familiarity most people will not be inclined to evaluate the meaning of those words which requires conscious effort. Therefore those words carry an “illusion of truth” and the conscious mind will proceed on that impression without further questions. To survive in a dangerous world we have learned to react cautiously to any novel stimulus. The words “deadly radiation” are not novel and people do not expect to hear about radiation other than “deadly.” Efforts to leave out or modify the word “deadly” may in fact invite suspicion. Our subconscious mind is at ease when we see the environment as normal. For most of the world, normal means “deadly radiation.” Someone trying to tell us that radiation is not deadly may be seen as not normal.

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