Skepchick Quickies, 8.2


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

Related Articles


  1. I don’t think the “faked” mental illness experiment shows what they think it shows. It seems to me it just shows that once we are primed with an idea we have a hard time changing it, but it doesn’t show that an actual “faker” would truly experience the symptoms. That seems like a leap in assumptions.

    Its still a fascinating experiment. I love seeing those experiments that show how entirely irrational we are as humans.

  2. @Skepotter: Do they fake skepticality (like the word by the way) or do they just practice it only in certain areas? Suppose I am hindu and believe in Shiva. I have decided that despite lack of evidence, I want to believe. But I am critically thinking about medicine, about UFOs, and all sorts of other things.
    Surely a decision on my part to ignore the critical thinking when it comes to religion is not faking it, its just choice. Its only faking it, if I defend a belief in Shiva as critical thinking.

  3. I think one of the commenter’s made the most salient point, “….as people can lie and believe themselves.” My professional experience is that this gets more and more true the longer someone persists in either a fantasy, outright lie, rationalization of a belief system. That someone could have a long list of feelings, notions, self confirming experiences, and whispers from a still small voice to confirm their religious beliefs; it seems reasonable that the same processes can take place when it comes to mental health issues.

  4. That study about faked mental illness seems very poorly designed. As it stands, it seems to show nothing more than a reluctance to abandon a role, and perhaps a reluctance to abandon a lie, once told. I think we’ve all experienced that. Once we’ve lied about something (yes, grandma, I love this sweater) we’d rather suffer and back it up than just confess that we lied.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: