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The Backfire Effect

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by chrome, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. I found this to be interesting: An article on why it's unlikely that you'll ever be able to convince someone of something that is against their current beliefs:-


    We've all seen this behaviour, on a wide range of topics on NR and in real life. People take a position, someone else comes along to challenge the position, massive flame war ensues.
  2. Heard about it before, that's a good article.

    It reminds me of religion for some strange reason...
  3. funny, I've stood by my beliefs here for years without ever flaming anyone; that's always been done in the other direction.......
  4. From the article: "Once something is added to your collection of beliefs, you protect it from harm." "When someone tries to correct you, tries to dilute your misconceptions, it backfires and strengthens them instead. Over time, the backfire effect helps make you less skeptical of those things which allow you to continue seeing your beliefs and attitudes as true and proper."

    That sir, you have done in spades and spades and spades... holding onto your views against all rational reasonable discussion.
  5. Leaves the question hanging, how then do people's opinions change if evidence contrary to their beliefs just reinforces the vehemency of their position.
  6. sigh, we are debating matters of faith, which often (always?) defies sin-flawed human logic

    but carry on anyway.....
  7. You'd have to look at the theory of memetics to answer that IMO. Which I am quite sure Hornet will not agree with (and I have no problem with that).

    Put simply, they will change their opinion when they encounter an idea that has stronger evolutionary appeal. Or will help get them laid.
  8. Actually, no, for the most part we were debating literal descriptions in the bible and how they are not supported by proven, accepted, peer reviewed, scientific knowledge.

    You wouldn't be reading this if the science that supports the speed of light and EMF and electricity etc etc etc was flawed.
  9. Good question.

    Answer, intellectually honesty.
  10. Spoken like a scientist :LOL:
    I've probably been reading too much Neal Stephenson but I have to wonder what the history of science would have looked like without the Backfire Effect.
  11. You might be interested in Thomas Kuhn's book on the Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962). It's still the classic reference for this sort of thing.
  12. How exactly do you manage to have this stuff immediately to hand?
    Don't answer that, I don't think I want to know...
  13. :) Maybe.

    To see the classic feedback effect in terms of motorcycling, tell a rider that the rear of their bike rises under heavy acceleration...
  14. I like walking into a conversation/debate and then taking the most controversial side, playing the devils advocate. It can be great fun taunting the people to whom this article applies.

    I don't follow sports so I always go for the other team to everyone else, cos in the end, i don't care if 'my team' loses, but they sure as hell do if theirs does.

    On topics in which I have an interest, I often change sides of the fence and look at virtually every topic with a skeptical eye; looking for the spin in the 'factual survey' from those who commissioned it.
  15. Motorbikes SUCK.

    (just reinforcing my beliefs that they rock.)
  16. Mates shouldn't talk to mates about religion, physics or cars. Unless rather drunk.

  17. Someone after my own heart!!!

    It's too easy to start on Hornet he just bites and bites.

  18. [​IMG]
  19. I'm guilty.

    But I'm also correct.
  20. Sign of a misspent youth... 8-[

    For those who are interested in psychology, there is a show on this evening at 7:30 on SBS1 called Into the Mind. It's the first of a three part series on the history of experimental psychology. Michael Mosely is presenting it, and he's pretty good. He also did a 5 or 6 part series on the emergence of modern experimental science that screened this year. That was excellent, so I've got high hopes for this show.

    On in 15min. Sorry for the late notice...