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Pro Truth ➯ Pro Truth Read ➸ Author Gleb Tsipursky – How can we turn back the tide of posttruth politics, fake news, and misinformation that is damaging our democracy? First, by empowering citizens to recognize and resist political lies and deceptions: How can we turn back the tide of posttruth politics, fake news, and misinformation that is damaging our democracy? First, by empowering citizens to recognize and resist political lies and deceptions: Using cuttingedge neuroscience research, we show you the tricks posttruth politicians use to exploit our mental blindspots and cognitive biases We then share with you strategies to Pro Truth Epub / protect yourself and others from these threats Second, by addressing the damage caused by the spread of fake news on social media: We provide you with effective techniques for fighting digital misinformation Third, by exerting pressure on politicians, media, and other public figures: Doing so involves creating new incentives for telling the truth, new penalties for lying, and new ways of communicating across the partisan divide To put this plan into action requires the rise of a ProTruth Movementa movement which has already begun, and is making a tangible impact If you believe truth matters, and want to protect our democracy, please read this book, and join us Dr Gleb Tsipursky and Tim Ward have teamed up to help citizens learn to protect themselves from lies, and empower them to put truth back into politics.

10 thoughts on “Pro Truth

  1. Linda B, Linda B, says:

    While reading it, I felt that Gleb Tsipursky had been reading my mind. The level of detail (stories, lies, reveals) is remarkable. If you haven't taken the Truth Pledge yet, this book will give you compelling reason to do so, and it doesn't matter what political persuasion best describes you. This is wisdom for our difficult times for all of us.

  2. Jo Anne Jo Anne says:

    In today’s environment, we are living in a society wherein truth is rapidly distorted. A great example of this is social media. We are significantly affected by the things that we see on our phone screens that cause our minds to be blinded by the truth. In a generation where deceptions are somewhat recurrent, it is of importance that we should prevail with the truth. A colleague introduced me to this book entitled “Pro-Truth” and I was curious what would be the contents of this book. Pro-Truth talks about mainly the political aspect of our society, the spectrum of lies, the cognitive biases each one of us are vulnerable with and debiasing strategies we can use. If you’re a truth-seeker, you will gain a lot of insights.

    In this book, I have learned about the different scope of lies and what they are about based on given scenarios. Back then, when I started voting for political candidates, I cast my vote based on other’s opinions without really digging deep on the interests of every candidate. I just assumed that this politician is a good choice because a lot of people believed in what they were saying. I must say that I lack judgement when it comes to choosing the right candidate. If I have read this book way before, I think I would be more engaged in exercising my political rights by knowing the truth.

    What really stuck when I was reading the book was in Chapter 8 where it talks about rational communication and the backfire effect. More often than not, we are susceptible to our reactions when we are communicating our beliefs and ideas to others and that we may be unguarded to cognitive bias called “backfire effect”. We can see a lot of heated arguments especially when it comes to political views. In this chapter, I have learned about how we can engage in a more productive political conversations, awareness and regulations of one’s emotion, being sensitive to the emotional charge some statements will have for certain people, listening actively to the other person, and learning to read their emotional state by using tactics. Communication seems to be easy, but it involves a lot of work. With this, I have learned a lot from this topic and on how we can communicate rationally not with logic and ideas but based on behavioral science.

    Pro-truth also discusses how we are wired with different cognitive biases. I think the cognitive bias that I am vulnerable to is the “Dunning-Kruger effect”. It must be hard to admit this, but sometimes I feel that I can do things beyond my ability in thinking that this is only a challenge I must overcome. Lately, I have been trying to assess this bias which leads to another bias called “pessimism bias”. I have to do some debiasing strategy to help me with this.

    Lastly, reading this book is definitely worth your time. It will help you in a way to improve yourself and become better when it comes to decision making and being aware of one’s self.

  3. Ruona Sargin Ruona Sargin says:

    It's a good thing I was able to read this book. A lot of people uphold the truth in today's world especially in politics and other organizations.

    Sometimes they tend to uphold the truth to keep relationships with leaders or colleagues. A lot of people play politics in business organizations, institutions, and most especially in politics.

    This book has helped me a lot in areas of speaking the truth, has helped me in building my charisma, and improved my way of being generous to others.

    I remember working for an organization that we were needing some new workers to hire for the organization. The manager then has conspired with some labor agents who supply workers to him to get commissions monthly which would be taken off the worker's salary every month. We had an application board outside the company that lots of qualified candidates were coming in to submit their applications for qualification for the open position.

    The manager with a selfish mind gave the MD the impression that no candidates were coming but a lot of candidates have submitted their CVs which he has ignored several times a lot of them have been thrown into the dust bin without even looking at them. I was aware of this because the manager and I were good friends and often seen him several times disposing of people's credentials. I kept it a secret which wasn't a good one thinking about the candidate's pains while searching for jobs, they spent money creating cv's not knowing that these CV's will end up in a dust bin.

    If I had read this book then I would have definitely not upheld the truth because the MD asked me personally if anyone was coming and I had to play politics with my friend (Lie by omission) saying no one has come. I felt bad about this to cut long story short the MD later found out and we both suffered the consequences. I was suspended and given a query while my friend was fired. I gained nothing for upholding the truth which I never kept the truth I would have gained the MD trust and wouldn't have been suspended/given a query.

    After reading this book I understand how misinformation can be damaging so always speaking the truth would definitely make a society, organization, and state a better place. I will always speak the truth to make my country Nigeria a better place.

    I was a victim of Confirmation Bias. For the situation of manager and organization, I went against my current belief which made my emotions very uncomfortable because I had to lie by omission protecting my friend which I wasn't comfortable with. It's a good thing I read this book as henceforth I will try all possible best to choose that which it's comfortable to my emotions.

    A lovely book. I wish all politicians can read this book as it will definitely help in making the country and society a better place. Thank you

  4. Kezia Tabago Kezia Tabago says:

    A BRILLIANT READ. Irrespective of what you do, you must read this textbook of human behaviour & how amazingly complex our minds are decisions are. I recommend as the author has gathered some very interesting information from which many people can benefit.

    The author does a good job of presenting a wide range of psychological traps and irrational tendencies to which humans fall prey. The book is well written(although somewhat wordy at times) and easy to read. Although people aren’t rational, they aren’t randomly irrational, either. Instead, they are predictably irrational, in a way that can be studied and measured, and be built into a more realistic economic theory: behavioural economics. Dr. Tsipursky explained this concept and the flow of the mind very efficiently in this book with empirical evidences and case studies. There are many enlightening passages which resonated well and were profound. If anything, most people will come away much better informed about a range of human flaws after reading this book. With case studies about Republicans and the general public in the Rasmussen reports, its apparent that Confirmation Bias is rampant. Just like them, I suffer from this bias more than and among other kinds of biases. This was apparent during instances I was in denial even though the truth, backed by evidences, stared me right in the face. The content as laid out by Dr. Tsipursky will help me improve and accept that in some instances, the truth, no matter how discomforting, will always be what it is: the truth.

    I found myself looking back on personal experiences while reading the book, especially about the ten lies. I can’t count the different times people and myself are guilty of the ten lies and the biases (ANCHORING was my latest, YIKES!). I am specifically reminded of an investment decision I was faced with and on what broker to put my money in. However, this book is an example of the authors thoughtfulness can be reflected in their use of different colours to label the various types of lies that we often tell, often without being fully conscious of what we are doing. The presentation is vivid, and the ideas easy to commit to memory. Had I known of these concepts and how to catch on from earlier, I wouldn’t have made a mistake in my investment decision.

    Moving forward, with concepts of this well written material, I will surely remind myself of the biases I always tend to make.

  5. Laszlo Makay Laszlo Makay says:

    Pro Truth - but for yourself too

    As the presidential election is slowly getting closer, it doesn’t hurt to prepare for the flood of news, opinions, fake news, alternative facts, accusations, disinformation and outright lies pouring into our social media accounts. Frankly, I don’t think that this book can turn this tide before the vote. But it surely will try. And even if we cannot turn this wave soon, we can prevent ourselves carried away with it.

    Besides I strongly recommend this reading to all, who can have any influence on what and how is published on facebook, twitter and likes. Even if you can’t or don’t step up for a more healthy public discussion, at least you will be aware of the consequences of your actions or idleness.

    What you can expect from this book?
    — An excellent review and summary on post-truth politics. It is almost frightening to read all the facts one by one. Precise, detailed, unbiased - yet not boring for a minute. (It is difficult to get bored when you worry about your future …)
    — A good wake up call for preparation before the presidential election for any side. Timely and informative.
    — Great analysis on the causes of the post truth tend. (including the usual descriptions of cognitive biases – we always got a package of them from Mr. Tsipursky.)
    — A good personal guide with many practical recommendation.
    — A good overview of Pro Truth Pledge initiative with calls for action and motivations from the authors.

    What you cannot expect from this book?

    I fear that at a society, election result level it will not be enough against the flood of expertly delivered and high budget manipulations and lies. You can repel the manipulation at a personal level (see above: good personal guide), you can influence your close environment, but we cannot realistically expect a breakthrough in short term. Fighting intentional, systematic and persistent lies is not a 100m sprint, it is a marathon. There are too many actors, too wide ranges of processes leading to the post truth politics. It is a global trend, with many dictators, autocratic leaders and hybrid regimes around the globe. However good initiative the Pro Truth Pledge is, more time is needed to turn this tide.

    Nevertheless, even the longest journey starts with the first step.

  6. Precious Quinte Precious Quinte says:

    Knowing the truth gives me peace of mind. We receive different information every day and sometimes we find it hard to identify what is real or not. If you are the type of person who truly seeks truth, then this book is for you.

    Each time our president delivers a State Of The Nation Address I am always reminded how divided our country, the pros, and the antis. The antis focus on distorting and twisting the news, publishing out of context articles, posting fake news on social media, and showing a video clip in the news that could lead to misinformation. The sad thing is a lot of people believed it immediately without doing some proper fact-finding and I find myself engaging in toxic political conversations. With this, I am very guilty of the horns effect that I started generalizing that all antis are present just to spread mean news or comments and developed hate to the antis that I even made social media accounts attacking those social media people who keep on blabbering things that are clearly fake. Our president and the current government is not perfect, but it saddens me to see citizens who keep on blaming the government in everything that this country is facing.

    While reading this book, I learned about five Es to help me communicate rationally, the emotional states, empathy, eschew emotionally charged utterances, echo, and express your emotional reality. I find these five Es really helpful to me especially because I tend to get carried away easily each time I read or see hateful news or posts, I find it difficult to manage my emotions and find myself having the urge to immediately fight back, which I know it is not the right thing to do.

    When it comes to political matters I find myself vulnerable to pessimism bias because I know not all politicians are genuine enough and show true care of the country, plus some hard-headed citizens who know nothing but to keep on complaining and blaming everything to the government.

    Now that I have read this book, I believe this is a good tool to continue my journey in truth-seeking. I just wish that a lot of people will be able to read this great book.

  7. Kh. Monjurul Kh. Monjurul says:

    Excellent Book!

    This is an excellent book and it is one of the most important book in my collection. I see it as an element to understand the human condition, and a road map of practical steps for living better, both within ourselves and with those around us.

    A few years ago I had a cognitive bias called the “Bandwagon effect” and made a wrong decision. Most of the people were supporting a specific political party and I also started supporting them too. I worked for the political party and arranged different election campaigns for them. By this way I helped them to spread their fake news and false election manifesto. After the election the party was elected with a huge margin and after some time they started showing their real face. They spread corruption all over the country and killed democracy and the right to vote. If I got this book in the past I would never support the current ruling party of my country.

    I become surprised when I learn the influence of social media in the US election. And also the false advertisements on Twitter that influenced the American voters. I learned a lot from this book and also gathered the knowledge that social media is full of fake news and we should verify those news before we trust them.

    I might be vulnerable to “Curse of knowledge” bias. As I told earlier in the last election of our country, the majority of people were supporting a specific party, and I also thought that I should support them too. At that moment my father who is an experienced politician told me to not support that party. I didn’t hear his advice and made the mistake. After the party was elected; they started showing their real face. Now all of us are searching for a way to get rid of them. As you know I’ve been suffering for not following the truth seeking strategies. For this reason I would definitely support and join the Pro-Truth Movement by Dr. Gleb and start fighting for truth.

  8. Tasnuva Tonny Tasnuva Tonny says:

    Great Read!!
    I simply admire the concept of Pro-Truth pledge. This book is one of the most innovative solutions to the problems posed by the post-truth era. It’s quite helpful as this book outlines strategies for bolstering a truth-telling and strategies for building a larger movement that will have implications for our democracy for decades to come.
    This book would have been helpful in the past as I just came to know about how we all suffer when there is a lack of orientation to the truth, and how mindful we must be to overcome our biases and bad habits. Previously sometimes it was difficult for me to take proper decisions as I wasn’t concerned about the term “searching for truth together,” After reading this book I could find optimal solutions in agreement with others.
    What I read proved surprising and unexpected to know about Illusory truth effect which is a mental error that causes us to perceive something to be true when we hear it repeated frequently and persistently, regardless of whether it is objectively true, or whether or not we are presented with evidence supporting it. From now onwards I will try to avoid mental errors thus I could make the best decisions possible for myself, for my team and for my organization.
    I might be vulnerable by Group Attribution Error. It is to blame large groups for the behavior of a few members is a classic mistake of the human mind. This error involves taking one person’s attitudes and behavior to represent accurately the opinions of a group to which this person belongs. In my previous office I had to go through this. For few people’s minor mistake our client misunderstood the entire team & rejected the project. It was quite hurting for us. This book is quite helpful because it’s a simple method of aligning the entire globe around a commitment of collaboration, whilst letting individuals come up with the great ideas.

  9. Shafayet Karim Shafayet Karim says:

    Amazing Book! Thank you for publishing such a self-help “Pro-Truth - A Practical Plan for Putting Truth Back into Politics” book. I think this is a helpful book for me and will help me to see the truth in politics. I believe that if a person follows the guidelines from this book properly, He/She will never take any dangerous decisions in future by giving their precious vote to elect a post-truth leader. They will always try to become intentional activists, Citizens willing to work and think and strategize together for the long term.

    If I got this book in the past, I could have known about the “Group Attribution Error.” I blame a group by taking one person’s attitudes and behavior to represent accurately the opinions of a group to which the person belongs. I get myself involved in this bias because of hating corruption.

    I found the most surprising part of this book is Chapter 8 “How Can You Practice Rational Communication?” I have learned that rational communication means to think rationally about the psychological reality of the other person, especially if they believe in irrational ideas. I’ll implement the five Rational Communication Strategies in my daily life.

    I think the “Backfire effect” will be vulnerable for me. Sometimes, I make this bias when I feel that I am right or he is thinking wrong. By reading this book, I have understood that people search for a way to prove themselves right. The more intensely they are forced to defend their original position, the more strongly committed they feel to it after the argument. I will follow the “Three Rs to Avoid Triggering the Backfire Effect” included in this book to defend myself in future. I feel very grateful to read this book.

  10. June Lyn June Lyn says:

    This book is very informative especially during this time, that the world is dealing with COVID-19. By reading this book you would learn to distinguish the lies from the truth. You can evaluate those politicians who did their part to fulfill their promises during the election and the others who are liars and are just using deceptive hyperbole to get the people's votes. I am very lucky to be privileged to have read this, indeed it helps equip myself to be aware of my thinking errors.

    I remember when I cast my vote last 2016 election, some of the politicians I voted were because of my father's choice. I selected them because of the opinion of other people. And then today, you would see those politicians in a comfortable position and seem not to have cared for the people who are suffering due to the pandemic. If I read this book back then, I should have done fact-checking resources for me to know and evaluate those types of untruth discussed in this book.

    There are a lot of insights I found in this book, and one of these that hits me hard is the phrase Become a Rational Voter and Avoid the Traps of Political Deception. Dr. Gleb is right when he says this book serves a training manual for our brain, from here I can learn to categorize a politician's level of deceptiveness and I can avoid being manipulated by them psychologically by being wise in decision making, doing my thorough research and not relying on others who to vote and not. I can definitely apply this learning to the next election.

    After reading this, I could say that I am guilty of the Confirmation Bias, rejecting the right information because I just want and stick to my existing beliefs. We should use the debiasing strategy to protect us from the danger brought by this cognitive bias.

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