The science of why we don’t believe science

Chris Mooney explains why facts and evidence rarely change the minds of people who have already formed a strong opinion: The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science.

Fascinating and depressing. It doesn’t bode well for climate change. It seems the only reliable way to make progress is to wait for those standing in the way to die off. Which poses its own question.

If humans eventually eliminate ageing (highly likely) then this aspect of human psychology—motivated reasoning—will turn out to be our Achilles’ heel. If we’re unable to rely on new generations to progress good ideas, drop bad ones and fix problems then what will we rely on?


One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Laroussi Abdelhakim,

    I think one has to look at it from a sociological point of view as well, we are sociological beings and thus are under influence of the group we’re in. Presenting a new vision wether with or without proof has always been hazardous. Questions about the structure of the group or how the group has to put itself into conformation ( adaptation) will always arise. Also I think because people want to be part of a group without being remembered that they do so, (quest for confirmation of the individual thought) therefore some idea’s will be casted out.
    Also, we have a general idea about scientist an science (labs, rats, flashing led-lights) that make us wonder: “how could such an unkown, abnormal envirenment create ‘knowledge’ usable in “”my”” everyday life? You need a clear example: the toothbrush publicity. Never had there been anything else to be judged by so many critics on TV, that is to say out loud. ( At least where my TV is, taking in consideration that it’s on TV). Also we might just be bad losers who won’t give in, after all a scientist is only human, thus leads us to the pad of thinking “if I came up as first” . Let alone science and it’s funding.
    Our feeling towards science is one of hidden jeaulousy or envy. If it’s sooths us we become pseudo-scientists if it doesn’t we become critics.

Add Your Comments

Your email is never published nor shared.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <ol> <ul> <li> <strong>