Citizens DO Heed Factual Information that Runs Counter to Their Ideology

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on UnsplashDespite being told time after time that Americans with strongly held beliefs ignore information that is counter to those beliefs and, through what is known as the backfire effect, actually become more convinced of those beliefs when presented with opposing information, a new study says that just isn’t so.  A 2010 study seemed to confirm this backfire effect, while the most recent study, using over 10,000 participants and testing 52 polarizing issues, not only found no backfire, but found that people actually do heed countering information. Once again we find that a narrative that makes all of us look stupid, and unable to think for ourselves, has been pushed by those to whom it gives power – academics, politicians, and the media.

Meanwhile, the reproducibility crisis continues.