I find this really interesting. Dealing with those opposed to science is exhausting.
Working in public health, I give vaccines everyday. People have actually accused me of being part of a conspiracy. Thinking I’m actually “let in” on some secret, and I am working to mislead the public.
Google will be our downfall, I’m sure. There is just too much info and it’s too easily accessible. (And most is ridiculous). Just trust the experts. It’s their job. There is no hidden agenda ( for the most part).
Inoculating against science denial
Science denial has real, societal consequences. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS led to more than 330,000 premature deaths in South Africa. Denial of the link between smoking and cancer has caused millions of premature deaths. Thanks to vaccination denial, preventable diseases are making a comeback.
Denial is not something we can ignore or, well, deny. So what does scientific research say is the most effective response? Common wisdom says that communicating more science should be the solution. But a growing body of evidence indicates that this approach can actually backfire, reinforcing people’s prior beliefs.
When you present evidence that threatens a person’s worldview, it can actually strengthen their beliefs. This is called the “worldview backfire effect”. One of the first scientific experiments that observed this effect dates back to 1975.
A psychologist from the…
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