Every person is an individual with a different background of life experiences. Even twins, from their individual perspectives, do not have identical experiences from the first moments of life. By the time they start school their lizard brains are well conditioned. In grade school they gain additional experiences and they continue throughout life. I wrote about this in “Stories and Your Reptilian Brain.” There I explained how our lizard minds can be exploited by politicians, marketers, and others to influence our decisions. Yes, that has something to do with inciting mob rule.
How everyone views medical journals also differs. Just like viewing a painting, ask five people and they report seeing something differently. Ten witnesses of an accident can swear they saw the whole event, but each one of their stories may differ. The same thing happens, but worse, when laymen read nutritional scientific literature. All too often at best they only skim the small print to find solace in statements they prefer.
Worst of all for confounding individual realities are today’s Internet stories which, when proven exciting, are often parroted by the media because doing so draws more followers. All that attention tends to validate the stories no matter their credibility. Dr. Brittany Seymour, an assistant professor of oral health policy and epidemiology at Harvard University, says that when faced with information overload “objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
So herein lies the problem. Objective facts are less influential!