When Facts Fail: How to Convince Someone When Worldview Trumps Evidence (Scientific American)

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Why is it so hard to convince someone that their belief is not supported by fact? Social psychologists examine reasons why people hang onto their ideas despite overwhelming evidence disproving them.

Analyzing several real-world situations, the psychologists found that attempting to correct another’s beliefs with fact can, in some cases, reinforce misconceptions. This “backfire effect” is primarily due to the destabilization of the person’s worldview and sense of self, which often leads to the person to become defensive and refuse to listen. More in Scientific American.

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