7 Investor Tools to Fight Misinformation: Beware Appeals to Emotion

By The Motley Fool2 days ago

On Wall Street, information is power. Investors increase their potential to profit by knowing more than the person on the other side of each transaction. But some unscrupulous folks don't stop at simply gathering better intelligence. They aim to cash in by spreading lies that mislead and misdirect ordinary investors like you -- making themselves rich at your expense. With persistence and a little know-how, you can protect yourself, your friends and family, and your money from making these kinds of costly mistakes.

“It is reason, and not passion, which must guide our deliberations, guide our debate, and guide our decision.“-- Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, speaking at the opening of the House Judiciary Committee's hearings on the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, 1974.

Disgust keeps us alive. Since our cave-person days, we humans have been hardwired for strong negative reactions to things that might poison, sicken, or kill us. But some forms of misinformation can exploit this necessary survival skill to short-circuit our ability to think critically about important issues. Disgust or other strong emotions can make us stop thinking and start feeling -- and lead us into the very trouble our brains are trying to avoid.

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