To be gullible means to be easily deceived or to be duped by some outrageous things. While teaching my students on academic writing specifically on the importance of research in bringing new knowledge, facts or conclusions, I did not miss to point to the idiocy of a local journalist using a satirical blog post as her main reference to tell that Filipinos are the most gullible of world race.
The said post was written so well that for anyone fast checking sources would missed it to be factual. It made referrence to an institution purported to be under Harvard and so referring to a Harvard study that proved the Filipino’s gullibility. It mentioned of having 500, 000 artifacts and documents analyzed.
I read the post first hand, as a friend in the blogosphere linked it to me. Outraged by the criticism on my Filipino identity, I had to step back, bend over from my emotion, and take the post as text to analyze. First, I checked for the source or author of the post, there was none. Then, I examined the details in the post.
It referred to Harvard, but the report was coming from Omaha, which is in Nebraska where there was no Harvard University. I googled Harvard University, and searched for HISPP, an alleged Harvard Insitute for Socio-Political Progression, but was never existent. For anyone who knows what a scholarly article is, cynicism is the right attitude for any dubious report or claim. A qualitative study is impossible with 500, 000 documents to be analyzed.
A Filipino will be irrate to hear anything said foul against his identity. Hence, many got so curious to read on that satire about the Filipino’s being gullible. Gullibility in our language translates to being uto-uto if not simply tanga. It is obvious that Filipino’s national psyche is embedded in his individuality. But, for a critical reader, fast checking such post and believing its content to be scrupulous is in itself a demonstration of gullibility if not a total failure to verify information.
Anyone can be gullible to any affective message. Affective because it triggers strong emotions. The Filipinos are as gullible as anyone in the world. Consider the power of advertising and the sublime message that influence people to consume products that they don’t understand more so they don’t have any need for.
Consider, how we react personally to news or any handed information that has direct implications to our security, safety and sanity. When emotions rule our thinking process, our actions demonstrate that human tendency to be gullible. Emotions play an important role in our attitudes and behavior, especially if we don’t take time to think about how we feel.
The knowledge in there that we find in the Internet are vastly sporadic, mostly scathed of quality and truth. But there are multiple truths. We need to realize these to make us aware and conscious of how we deal with the information bombarded to us. Surfing the Internet requires knowledge management skills and that is different from merely fishing for information in that vast ocean of messages.