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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Norton

Faulty Filters

Have you ever thought the world of someone and then suddenly seen all of the despicable things they do? Here's a secret - they didn't change. You did!

Humans suffer from faulty filters. We want to believe a person we have aligned ourselves with is good, so we focus on information to validate this belief and ignore the rest. This is how the mothers of serial killers can take the witness stand, pass a lie detector test and testify that their son is a "good" boy.

Now imagine that same mother walking in on their son mid-kill. "Oh no, Johnny, did you trip with a knife and hurt that man?" Mom might look around and see bloodstains she had never noticed before. The gun. The hacksaw. The tarp and shovel. Suddenly she is flooded with the knowledge that Johnny IS a killer and has been for years! This human failing makes for good dramatic fiction because it pulls real emotion from readers who have had the same experience.

Being objective takes practice and attention. Calm the mind and observe. What do you see?

Simply believing something does not make it true.

Image courtesy of the Canva pro media library.

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