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The Diminishing Intellectual Capacity Of Today's Society: Is The Internet Dumbing Us Down?

1085 words - 4 pages

Hart, Albarracin, Eagly, Brechan, Lindberg, and Merrill (2009) found that people have a tendency to believe information that supports pre-existing attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors, and disregard that which goes against their preconceived notions. Known as "congeniality bias," this leads people to selectively expose themselves to information that is not always accurate. People are two times more likely to believe information that supports their preconceived ideas than that which goes against them. This behavior is influenced by two main factors: (1) Defense motivation, a result of one's desire to minimize the cognitive discomfort associated with learning the truth about attitudes and beliefs, or finding out that one was not knowledgeable on the subject; it is easier for one to feel validated than to change preconceived notions. (2) Accuracy motivation, a result of choosing relevant information that will lead to a tangible reward. Human nature leads individuals to practice self-preservation. This is not always physical, but mental as well. People do not like to admit when they are wrong, and so it is easy to disregard information that goes against preconceived notions. People also have a tendency to disregard warning signs that they may be displaying disordered behavior. This behavior is often manifested as addiction.
Internet addiction is rising in frequency and is now recognized in both the public and the scientific communities. The psychopathological characteristics and neurobiological mechanisms of the condition remain poorly understood. Studies in recent years have determined that Internet addiction results in significant changes in the brain functions of those individuals suffering from it. Individuals suffering from Internet addiction share the same neurobiological characteristics in common with other addictive disorders, along with showing signs of the same brain abnormalities as those that suffer from substance addiction (Ding et al., 2013; Evans-Pughe, 2012; Hong et al., 2013).
Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) is a rising mental health problem among the Chinese population (Evans-Pughe, 2012). Reports have shown that individuals suffering from this addiction are hindered in their every day life functions including: social interactions, job performance, academic progress, and overall behavioral development. After conducting brain scans, researchers have determined that people with IAD have damage to the brain's white matter in the orbito-frontal cortex region, the same area that shows damage among patients who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction. This particular region of the brain plays a vital role in the ability to process emotions, decisions, and healthy behaviors (Evans-Pughe, 2012). A 2013 report by Hong et al. found that when examining the connectivity between cortical lobes and subcortical brain regions in adolescents who had been diagnosed with internet addiction, the hippocampus, globes pallidus, and putamen were all...

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