Paradoxical knowing: A shortcut to knowledge and its antisocial correlates.

To avoid uncertainty, people may take a shortcut to knowledge. They recognize something as unknowable, but claim to know it nonetheless (e.g., whether I will find true love is unknowable, but I know I will). In Study-set 1, such paradoxical knowledge was common and spanned across valence and content. Study-set 2 revealed an antecedent of paradoxical knowing. High (vs. low) goal-incentives incited paradoxical knowledge – participants felt certain about attaining important future life goals despite acknowledging such goal attainment as unknowable. As a shortcut to knowledge, however, paradoxical knowing may have its costs. In Study-set 3, paradoxical knowing related to aggression (fight), determined ignorance (flight), and a willingness to join and adhere to extreme groups (befriend). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)