Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Debunking sometimes fails

Debunking anti-science conspiracy theories is harder than one woud expect. Reason and rational discourse actually increases denial. 

Vaccine denial causes death. Four separate pro-vaccine messages were tested to see if it could sway opinion amongst those intent on refusing vaccinations. Not a single one of the messages was successful. And in several cases the messages actually backfired, either increasing the ill-founded belief that vaccines cause autism or even, in one case, apparently reducing parents' intentions to vaccinate.

It adds to a large body of frustrating research on how hard it is to correct false information and get people to accept indisputable facts.

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