An atypical topic for me, but there’s some wisdom in here about a common subconscious motivation for distorting reality. I have already blogged about such motivations for ignoring data that contradicts what we want to believe, or for distorting data to support what we want others to believe. This example is about imagining data that supports what we want to believe even when such data, inconveniently, fails to exist.
Such narratives give us a sense that the uncontrollable might be controlled. And to maintain them, we simply ignore cases that don't fit them, such as a rash of violence in the months after Sandy Hook committed by elderly men with no discernible connection to violent media. This allows us to maintain an illusion of correlation where none exists.