Ignorance, Fear and Perceived Authority

Fear, God, and State

A stunning hypothesis from the latest Journal of Personality and Social Psychology:

High levels of support often observed for governmental and religious systems can be explained, in part, as a means of coping with the threat posed by chronically or situationally fluctuating levels of perceived personal control. Three experiments demonstrated a causal relation between lowered perceptions of personal control and … increased beliefs in the existence of a controlling God and defense of the overarching socio-political system.  A 4th experiment showed … a challenge to the usefulness of external systems of control led to increased illusory perceptions of personal control. … A cross-national data set demonstrated that lower levels of personal control are associated with higher support for governmental control.

It seems we hope a stronger and more benevolent God or State will protect us when feel less able to protect ourselves.  I’d guess similar effects hold for medicine and media – we believe in doc effectiveness more when we fear out of control of our health, and we believe in media accuracy more when we rely more on their info to protect us.  Can we find data on which beliefs tend to be more biased: confidence in authorities when we feel out of control, or less confidence in authorities when we feel more in control?

Let me add ignorance as one cause. It is the lack of understanding on factors that influence one’s life that lead one to feel vulnerable, out of control and thus afraid. While knowledge may not allow one to change one’s environment, it most certainly allow one to better adept to it and thus feel less frightful. It is again, precisely because of ignorance that lead those in undesirable situation to not know how to get out of it, and again, ignorance lead them to the false hope that a perceived authority that they don’t understand can and want to save them.

“Ignorance is a bliss” only works when you are in good times and very very lucky.

more on intelligent and religion
On positive economic condition inducing non-interventionist economic policy.


Punking with Last Target

Last Target is coming to town on the 12th next Saturday
Performing at in Taipei with 7 other bands

Date: 2008/07/12
Venue: APA Lounge 808
Address: 6f, 152 Zhonghua Rd Sec 1, Taipei City. Ximen MRT Exit #6 (above Sushi Express)
Tel: (02) 2381-5378

8pm – Doors Open
8:30pm – Divebomb – http://www.myspace.com/divebomb86
9:15pm – Public Radio – http://www.myspace.com/publicradioband
10:00pm – Deadly Vibes – http://www.myspace.com/thedeadlyvibes
10:30pm – Consider The Meek – http://www.myspace.com/considerthemeekrock
11:30pm – Last Targethttp://www.myspace.com/lasttarget
1230am – To A God Unknown – http://www.myspace.com/godunknown

Last Target is my friends band from Japan, the rest of them i have never heard. According to friends in the band some of these bands are pretty good, some bad. so please coming at your own risk 🙂

good band or not, i am pretty sure i will have a great time, so try to make it this Saturday for this please.

Ticket price:
on the day: NTD 400
pre-sale: NTD300

if you book ticket with me before July 8th and enter the venue with me at 20:00 oclock
you will only need to pay 200 for the VIP ticket.

so if you are coming, leave a comment on this post and tell me how many confirmed tickets you need.

for example: “Steven 5” = Steven will need 5 ticket for his friends and himself.

if you have any question call me, you know my number.

Here is a preview of what Last Target is like