Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Homepage
Latest Natural Health News

Naïve Realism and Filter Bubbles that Threaten Humanity

Naïve Realism and Filter Bubbles that Threaten Humanity
Share This Article

From ANH International


  • Societies and social groups are becoming ever more polarised and fragmented, much of this being down to the way we receive and perceive news and information
  • Our experience of the world around us means we’re subject to naïve realism and our increasing reliance on online news means that pre-selected filters determined by platform owners further restrict what we’re exposed to
  • Our increasing inability to find agreement with each other, coupled with the rising tide of authoritarianism and censorship, potentially threaten the viability of our species
  • The solution is unlikely to be in the hands of those who attempt to control us. It’s in our hands.

Is the end nigh?

Anyone looking closely at the direction human societies have been taking these last few years has got to realise that humanity is at a juncture, one that might be so fundamental, it could determine the very survival of our species. You’d think.

For many of us, when we peer back at our short, in evolutionary terms, history, we have a sense that what we face today presents a risk greater than that which our small band of Palaeolithic ancestors had to handle during the last ice age, some 40,000 to 100,000 years ago. At least some of them made it through, and that immense challenge wasn’t of our own species’ making. Today’s biggest challenges most definitely are.

But, perhaps to our surprise, we find many around us who don’t see it this way.

I meet people regularly who tell me their lives, ever since the World Health Organization (WHO) decided in May 2023 to call an end to emergency status of the COVID-19 pandemic, have normalised, or at least, ‘new normalised’. When I hear such views, it makes me wonder what kind of bubble they must be living in. I then have to pinch myself to be reminded that they also see those of us who believe we’re on the precipice of disaster as also existing in a bubble. But it’s quite clearly a different bubble.

One of the most important reasons there is so little agreement over where we are as a society, is because we all have very different perceptions of reality—these perceptions being determined by our limited five senses. A principle well understood among psychologists is that people tend to think their perception is reality, when, in fact, this is an impossibility. Our perception just feels like reality. Another way of looking at it is that an individual’s perception is that person’s reality, not someone else’s.

Plato’s cave and naïve realism

Our senses are extremely limited, both in their very nature, and in space and time. Take what we see; the band of visible light that most of us can see represents just a tiny fraction (close to 0%) of the known electromagnetic light spectrum. And the things we hear and see that are likely to be most influential on the future of our species, are mostly things that happen outside our own experiences. They are very rarely experienced first-hand. We might hear information or opinions from people around us, or they’re filtered through one media source or another, these media sources often carrying very substantial cognitive or editorial biases.  

What we perceive, regardless of its source, is then filtered through our cognitive processes and we then try to apply meaning to it. We often find this meaning becomes more solidified when it’s confirmed by social groups with which we associate, and we tend to align with those who have similar views, this being, in turn, the basis of group psychology. Psychologists refer to our sense of reality, one filtered through our cognitive processes, and those of the social groups who influence us, as naïve realism, a term first put forward by Stanford psychologists Lee Ross and Andrew Ward in the 1990s.

There’s also nothing new about learning how our perception can deceive us. Think back to Plato’s allegory of the cave.

Read the full article.

4 thoughts on “Naïve Realism and Filter Bubbles that Threaten Humanity

  • Ron Tamm

    In my opinion, I feel that consumers, like myself, need to be in control of their health choices, not the U.S. government butting in whether it be the federal, state or, even local. Something for people to think about! Ron

  • Phoenix

    I feel health choices need to be governed by the individual. But for this article I’m totally opposed to the US being governed by the WHO when it comes to pandemic decisions. When we were going through the Covid-19 pandemic the WHO was completely oblivious to everything and had absolutely no answers to any questions we asked. I worked in healthcare for a little over 12 years and managed the continuing medical education program for a community health center and we were so disappointed.

  • Brent Vander Schaaf

    In my opinion, I feel that consumers, like myself, need to be in control of their health choices, not the U.S. government butting in whether it be the federal, state or, even local.

  • Sue Skidmore

    I agree with Ron Tamm in the comment above. Not only that, I do not think it is in our best interests to be censored, especially by those who serve to gain financially and otherwise from our sickness and death. It is illogical to think that an illness or so called pandemic could only be stopped by a “vaccine” rather than early treatment. And it is illogical to think that doctors on the frontlines could not decide what may be the best course of action–Doctors have been doing that for centuries. So why did patients’ families have to resort to court orders to enable the doctors to treat the patient successfully with Ivermectin and other repurposed drugs? There is something very evil about the medical system and about the government and it is called suppression, censorship, manipulation and control.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts