Farnam Street helps you make better decisions, innovate, and avoid stupidity.

With over 350,000 monthly readers and more than 88,000 subscribers to our popular weekly digest, we've become an online intellectual hub.

(Video) Michael Shermer: The pattern behind self-deception

Michael Shermer says the human tendency to believe strange things — from alien abductions to dowsing rods — boils down to two of the brain’s most basic, hard-wired survival skills. He explains what they are, and how they get us into trouble.

Belief is the status quo; Patternicity; etc. 

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

Shermer is the author of Why People Believe Weird Things.

Shop at Amazon.com and support Farnam Street