Mental Immunity: For the Passionately Ignorant and Willfully Disinformed with Andy Norman PhD & Renata Salecl PhD

What is true is not always what some choose to believe. There are some people who subscribe to the ignorance is bliss philosophy and others have difficulty discerning which information is born in conspiracy or in science. To gain a better understanding of those who wish to remain passionately ignorant and willfully disinformed, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two authors who specialize in the science of the mind. In Andy Norman’s book, Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think, he examines what makes some groups more susceptible to mind ‘bugs’ and mental hijacking. His cognitive hygiene concept offers mental immunity to those who prefer to think rationally and want to protect themselves from conspiracy theories. Sociologist Renata Salecl shares the core theme of her book, Passion for Ignorance: What We Choose Not to Know and Why. Her research studies why in this modern age of big data, genetics, and neuroscience people still choose to be ignorant about things that affect them and their health. 

About Lisa’s guests:

Andy Norman is the award-winning author of Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind-Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think. His work has appeared in Scientific American, Psychology Today, Psychiatric Times, Skeptic, Free Inquiry, and The Humanist. He has appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience, NPR, and The BBC’s Naked Scientist. His research illuminates the evolutionary origins of human reasoning, the norms that make dialogue fruitful, and the workings of the mind’s immune system. He champions the emerging science of mental immunity as the antidote to disinformation, propaganda, hate, and division. He is the founder of the Cognitive Immunology Research Collaborative (CIRCE), a global think-tank leading the effort to inoculate humanity against cognitive contagion.

Renata Salecl PhD is a philosopher and sociologist. She is a Professor at the School of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Criminology at the School of Law, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her books, which include On Anxiety; Tyranny of Choice; and A Passion for Ignorance, have been translated into 15 languages. Renata’s 2014 TED Global talk has garnered over 1.6 million views.

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