The effect of Repetition in the acquisition of Knowledge

Essay by green22High School, 12th gradeA-, March 2006

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"What I tell you three times is true." (Lewis Carroll). Might this formula- or a more sophisticated version of it- actually determine what we believe to be true?

As we draw hypotheses and conclusions throughout our lives, we are bombarded and influenced by the perceptions, opinions, and accepted facts of other people. As we learn from a young age, we accept the opinions, findings, and discoveries of experts and professionals, who specialize in delving into the depths of science and human nature. A certain individual may not be able to explain how to calculate the distance between Earth and Alpha Centauri, but the same person may 'know' the distance because the answer is published in numerous science books and has been confirmed by other astronomers. Do we as individuals accept ideas as knowledge because they are logic-based, or because we are simply told something repeatedly, or a combination of the two? From a young age I was brought up in a society where racism is a part of everyday life.

It is very easy to become part of the problem and not the solution when you are surrounded by this through most of your younger years. I then left my home country of South Africa and realized very quickly that my opinion was mainly determined by those around me, and what was considered to be normal within my society. However, due to the fact that I was brought up with it, I still find myself reverting to my old frame of mind. I had immense trouble attempting to change my opinion, as I had not gone a day without hearing a racist joke at school.

I think the question can be associated with the repetition of information by authority. In the area of knowledge of History, there are countless times...