The more ambiguous the answer, the more people will believe it

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Washington, Jan 25 : A new study has proved that our mind and body works together towards 'truthiness' or intuition, by showing that an ambiguous answer to a question is more likely to make people believe it is the truth.

Psychologists Rick Dale of the University of Memphis, Michael Spivey of Cornell University and the late Chris McKinstry showed that more vague an answer to a question, the more likely an individual would believe it is genuine.

For the study, the team asked college students questions that ranged in levels of vagueness and tracked their corresponding arm movements to clicking 'yes' or 'no' on a computer screen.

The researchers said that questions such as "is murder sometimes justifiable?" are considered ambiguous and could cause the sensation of being 'pulled' in both directions at once.

However, questions like "can a kangaroo walk backwards?" have a high likelihood of 'no' responding.

The results of participants' cursor movements indicated that the human brain thinks and acts at the same time.

This observation is contrary to what many researchers formerly thought - that the decision-making process was completed by the cognitive subsystem, or the brain's thought center, before it was shared with other parts of the brain.

"These dynamic data showed that participant arm movements had lower velocity and curved more toward the alternative response box during 'no' responses than during 'yes' responses"suggesting that we experience a general bias toward assuming statements are true," the authors said.

They added that the findings suggest that the mind and body do in fact work together and the resulting collaboration may prompt us to lean toward

The study appears in the January 2008 issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

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