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Author Topic: The Debunking Handbook  (Read 327 times)

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Offline Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

The Debunking Handbook
« on: November 14, 2014, 05:21:50 AM »
I thought this might be of interest to some here. It's a short summary of some larger research and a succinct, easy read that deals with the importance of how to communicate when trying to debunk misinformation.

In short, sometimes facts are not enough and can actually have the involuntary effect of reinforcing a mistaken believe, if one does not watch language and structure of an argument. Sometimes how you present facts can be at least as important as the facts themselves in swinging an opinion.

A common misconception about myths is the notion that removing its influence is as simple as packing more information into people's heads. This approach assumes that public misperceptions are due to a lack of knowledge and that the solution is more information - in science communication, it's known as the “information deficit model”. But that model is wrong: people don't process information as simply as a hard drive downloading data.

Refuting misinformation involves dealing with complex cognitive processes. To successfully impart knowledge, communicators need to understand how people process information, how they modify their existing knowledge and how worldviews affect their ability to think rationally. It's not just what people think that matters, but how they think.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: The Debunking Handbook
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2014, 05:30:22 AM »
I've run into plenty of folks who simply did not want to see things in a more rational, logical way. Some folks would rather cling to their inconsistent and fantastic beliefs than to question them and consider new possibilities.

Something else to consider, is the power of "might makes right." There's a certain amount of truth to the argument that being the loudest or more dominant one in a debate carries some level of comfort, and where there is such comfort in the acceptance of an ideology or falsehood, there will be followers who will gladly overlook any errors in their thought in exchange for that comfort and support. Not everyone strives to be correct and consistent - some strive more to be "mainstream", "alike", or to just fit in.

With some such folks, revealing "truth" or debunking falsehoods will only get you dismissed or ignored.  o.O