Death Spirals and the Cult Attractor
Affective death spirals are positive feedback loop caused by the halo effect: Positive characteristics perceptually correlate, so the more nice things we say about X, the more additional nice things we're likely to believe about X.
Cultishness is an empirical attractor in human groups, roughly an affective death spiral, plus peer pressure and outcasting behavior, plus (quite often) defensiveness around something believed to have been perfected.
Some overlap with the Politics is the Mind-Killer subsequence (preferably read that first).
- Readlist - view this sequence as an eBook using Readability.
- The Affect Heuristic
- The Halo Effect
- Affective Death Spirals
- Resist the Happy Death Spiral
- Uncritical Supercriticality
- Evaporative Cooling of Group Beliefs
- When None Dare Urge Restraint
- The Robbers Cave Experiment
- Every Cause Wants to be a Cult
- Guardians of the Truth
- The Litany Against Gurus
- Two Cult Koans
- Asch's Conformity Experiment - The unanimous agreement of surrounding others can make subjects disbelieve (or at least, fail to report) what's right before their eyes. The addition of just one dissenter is enough to dramatically reduce the rates of improper conformity.
- Lonely Dissent
- Cultish Countercultishness