investigating the nature of fact in the digital age

Archive for May, 2014|Monthly archive page

Why people persist in believing untrue things

In Facts and opinion, Interesting research, Misinformation on May 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm

YOUR POLITICAL orientation determines where you fall on important social issues, right? And it’s the strength of your partisanship that determines how easily you “correct” mis-held opinions when presented with corrective information … isn’t it? We used to think that. It turns out that facts are mostly useless in combatting misinformation and misperceptions. It’s not your political beliefs that make you more or less likely to believe/dismiss facts that don’t fit your world view – it’s your sense of self worth. So suggests current psychological research by the likes of Brendan Nyhan and Stephen Lewandowsky – with huge implications for the efforts and effectiveness of fact-checkers and the news media in general. Maria Konnikova distilled what’s known in this post for The New Yorker.