Character  &  Context

The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience and the Science of Persuasion

Image of tiles of brain scans

Here's an article titled The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience and the Science of Persuasion generously shared by Jay van Bavel (@jayvanbavel) and Dominic Packer (@PackerLab), originally written for Scientific American's Mind blog, and well worth a read. Here's an excerpt:

On the heels of the decade of the brain and the development of neuroimaging, it is nearly impossible to open a science magazine or walk through a bookstore without encountering images of the human brain. As prominent neuroscientist, Martha Farah, remarked “Brain images are the scientific icon of our age, replacing Bohr’s planetary atom as the symbol of science”. The rapid rise to prominence of cognitive neuroscience has been accompanied by an equally swift rise in practitioners and snake oil salesmen who make promises that neuroimaging cannot yet deliver. Critics inside and outside of the discipline have both been swift to condemn sloppy claims that MRI can tell us who we plan to vote for, if we love our iPhones, and why we believe in God. Yet, the constant parade of overtrumped results has lead to the rise of “The new neuro-skeptics” who argue that neuroscience is either unable to answer the interesting questions, or worse, that scientists have simply been seduced by the flickering lights of the brain.

The rest of the article is here.

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