Hi, love the show you are the best I am you #1 fan, avid listener etc! €:-)
I am always nonplussed by people's accounts of the good old days, how things were much safer back then and so forth. It annoys me because there is clearly a lot of selective memorising going on.
Then today, while I was listening to the show I found a link to these guys who have put a study together on this very topic:
It is called "Implicit self-change and the ideology of social decline" from Eibach, R. and Libby, L. (2004 I think), and it is at:http://www.allacademic.com/one/prol/prol01/index.php?cmd=Download+Document&key=unpublished_manuscript&file_index=1&pop_up=true&no_click_key=true&attachment_style=attachment&PHPSESSID=9b129dcf379449d5dc3b2800728a1c63
I hope that long link works, its a great study. An awesome bit of skeptical research and very readable. Just read the first two pages for a toe-curlingly accurate account of how misrepresentation of facts can have an extraordinary impact.
The idea that things are getting worse is very damaging. I work in education, (ejumacation!), and teachers and schools have a kind of crisis mentality based on some idyllic interpretation of what the past was like. It then affects how they deal with marginalised children in all manner of ways.
I suspect that this is a delusion that causes quite a lot of sociological damage, a self-fulfiling prophesy in many ways. As always, I am keen to hear what you think. It would be great to hear my soapbox wheeled out on the show,
cheers... Matthew Willey
PS, I tried to post this directly but horrible things happened.