Artistic license taken with a painting by Matthias Grünewald.Some people obstinately cling to the most extraordinary beliefs for the most ridiculous reasons and have the temerity to be angry at those who have opinions based on accurate knowledge.

Here's a formula followed by one mythonutter devoted to autivaccinism:
▪ Start angrily with a highly emotional interpretation of matters remotely connected to whatever original trauma;
▪ gather inaccurate information from biased sources that fit with personal prejudices;
▪ insist that the fact that other non-experts of biased 'experts' believe along the same lines provides validation of their beliefs;
▪ concoct a misinterpretation of the evidence that runs totally counter to logic;
▪ insist that the experts are lying and that those people who agree with expert interpretation of empirical evidence are victims of group-think;
▪ declare that those who accept expert opinion are exhibiting obstinate closed-mindedness in being unwilling to see the distorted personal version of 'truth';
▪ assume that the experts are lying because they do not care what harm comes to people and they wish to make a profit;
▪ and, assume, despite having no knowledge of science or epidemiology, that all experimental findings that do not fit one's prejudices merely represent insufficient testing.

Not only are such individuals grossly mistaken about their peeve-of-choice, they are also typically mistaken on a variety of topics, favoring antisocial alternative mythologies over knowledge. Such stupidity is sometimes merely annoying, but when mythonutters insist on making bad decisions about the health of others, their ignorant folly becomes potentially dangerous. Aginners such as these are typically utterly unwilling to consider any facts and expert interpretations that do no coincide with their prejudices. A personality disorder often coexists with the cognitive disorder.

"Personality refers to a distinctive set of traits, behavior styles, and patterns that make up our character or individuality. How we perceive the world, our attitudes, thoughts, and feelings are all part of our personality. People with healthy personalities are able to cope with normal stresses and have no trouble forming relationships with family, friends, and co-workers.

Those who struggle with a personality disorder have great difficulty dealing with other people. They tend to be inflexible, rigid, and unable to respond to the changes and demands of life. Although they feel that their behavior patterns are “normal” or “right,” people with personality disorders tend to have a narrow view of the world and find it difficult to participate in social activities." "DSM-IV R"

The image is modified from a Matthias Grünewald painting, The Temptation of St Anthony, ca. 1512-16. The original is a panel (third view) of the Isenheim Alterpiece, which is now on display at the Unterlinden Museum. (first view, second view)

...section index...

cognition, personality disorder,

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