The Wise Path
Labrynth
Misinformed
—Believing falsehoods

Being There

MisinformedMisinformed people don't know what they don't know. They mistake falsehoods, misunderstandings, misconceptions, opinions, myths, legends, hearsay, rumors, gossip, and propaganda for established fact. Misinformed people often accept an untrue, incomplete, simplistic, or misleading answer as true rather than recognizing—or at least admit—they don't know the answer.

Misinformed people are often trapped in their own false beliefs and unhelpful rules and too often they are determined to rigidly defend and propagate these falsehoods. They commit, overlook, and often propagate common fallacies such as false dilemma, ad hominem attacks, and overgeneralization. They are often trapped by their need for self-justification and confirmation biasExternal Link — the strong human tendency to dismiss or distort evidence contrary to our beliefs and readily seek out evidence that supports their views.

Getting There

We are all remarkably ignorant. What differentiates the misinformed from the factually informed person is  awareness of our own ignorance, the humility required to open up to new ideas, the courage to say “I don't know” or “I was mistaken” and the curiosity, motivation, and discipline to always continue to learn.

Moving On

Misinformed people are at the unconscious incompetence learning level.  Work toward becoming factually informed by taking these steps:

  • Recognize and acknowledge your own limitations:
  • Become curious about the wonderful and diverse world we all live in:
  • Know how you know:
    • Remain skeptical. Ask more questions; seek your own answers.
    • Begin to develop a theory of knowledge to help you reliably decide what to believe.
  • Increase your literacy:
    • Improve your reading skills.
    • Read, read, read more! Explore a variety of topics from a variety of viewpoints.
  • Increase your numeric skills:
  • Research, analyze, and verify what you want to learn from a variety of reliable sources.
    • Learn about a variety of topics from sources such as the local library, or WikipediaExternal Link.
    • Learn about logical deduction, logical inference, statistical inference, and logical fallacies.
  • Increase the breadth and depth of your real-world experiences.
    • Explore the world.
    • Visit well-curated museums.
    • Travel. Meet new and interesting people.
    • Embark on adventures. Have fun.
  • Continue your formal education, perhaps exploring in new directions.
    • Complete your present school program, if any.
    • Get your GEDExternal Link, High School Diploma, College Degree, or Graduate Degree.
    • Take classes at your local community college.

Context:

The figure links to the states that neighbor this one. This can help orient you to this state both horizontally, showing the action and emotion states at this level of development, and vertically showing the cognitive levels before and after this one.

  Factually Informed  
Thrashing Misinformed Reactive
  Unaware  

Quotations:

  • “The thing to do, when you don't know, is not to bluff and not to freeze, but to learn.” ~ Donella H. MeadowsExternal Link
  • “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

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