These psychological tendencies explain why an onslaught of facts won’t necessarily change anyone’s mind.
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Cognitive shortcuts help you efficiently move through a complicated world. But they come with an unwelcome side effect: Facts aren't necessarily enough to change your mind.
Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg.
To fight climate change, we need to take people's cognitive biases into account.
The more politicized an issue, the harder it is for people to absorb contradictory evidence.
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Whether in situations relating to scientific consensus, economic history or current political events, denialism has its roots in what psychologists call 'motivated reasoning.'
And you, do you apply the #stayhome principle that is displayed everywhere on social networks?
Involving family and friends in decisions or rethinking the meaning of "getting back to normal" helps protect against cognitive bias and its harmful consequences.
Fear is a central emotional response during a pandemic and it's why most people have complied with lockdown conditions. But as anxiety eases and boredom sets in, people's resolution may fray.
How do people respond to media coverage of weather influenced by climate change?
AP Photo/Andy Newman
Media reports are starting to directly connect climate change to its weather effects in local communities. But how you respond to those linkages depends on what you already think about climate change.
A new statistical test lets scientists figure out if two groups are similar to one another.
A new statistical test lets researchers search for similarities between groups. Could this help keep new important findings out of the file drawer?
When people know it’s a full moon, they tend to use it to explain all sorts of human behaviour.
The 'illumination hypothesis' – suggests that criminals like enough light to ply their trade, but not so much as to increase their chance of apprehension.
Our predictive skills are about as reliable as a crystal ball.
We can't simply try to work out what's going to happen during the fourth industrial revolution.
People who share potential misinformation on Twitter (in purple) rarely get to see corrections or fact-checking (in orange).
Shao et al.
Information on social media can be misleading because of biases in three places – the brain, society and algorithms. Scholars are developing ways to identify and display the effects of these biases.
Some of the Facebook and Instagram ads used in 2016 election released by members of the U.S. House Intelligence committee.
AP Photo/Jon Elswick
A scholar asks whether democracy itself is at risk in a world where social media is creating deeply polarized groups of individuals who tend to believe everything they hear.
Oh please. There’s no wind on the moon.
Rational arguments and myth busting often won't help you change the mind of a conspiracy theorist. But there are other ways.
The message might not come through if you put all your communication eggs in one theoretical basket.
Reports of facts' death have been greatly exaggerated. Effective communication jettisons the false dilemma in favor of a more holistic view of how people take in new information on contentious topics.
And don’t expect chocolate ice cream, either.
Millions of Americans believe brown cows produce chocolate milk? The way the media reported this factoid raises questions about science literacy – but different ones than you may think.
‘I don’t want to see it.’
'Monkeys' via www.shutterstock.com
If someone sees or hears something they don't want to believe...they probably won't believe it.
With a second Scottish referendum 'all but inevitable', here's a strange pill for the nationalists to swallow.
Yeah, I’m not hearing that.
Woman picture via www.shutterstock.com.
Quirks of human psychology can pose problems for science communicators trying to cover controversial topics. Recognizing what cognitive science knows about how we deal with new information could help.
Technology exacerbates the news echo chamber, but it can also be the solution to overcoming our deep-seated psychological biases.
Individuals from both sides of politics will refuse to accept evidence that contradicts their beliefs.
We like to think that our political views are well reasoned and backed by evidence. But research shows how easily we all succumb to cognitive biases to justify our own deeply held views.
Like wearing psychological blinders.
Horse image via www.shutterstock.com.
It's human nature to notice or search out information that supports what you already believe and discount or avoid data to the contrary. The problem comes in when you don't recognize this bias is in play.