Some of Trump’s most ardent supporters are those whose lives are most diminished and compromised by his actions. They do not let facts cloud their beliefs. A similar situation is seen in the anti-science denial of the scientifically proven benefits of vaccinations or genetically modified foods. The Dunning Kruger effect is in force. Those who know the least think they are experts. As Carroll points out in his NYTimes opinion piece
, only subtle persuasion can be used to nudge those who are immune to factual knowledge. Some clips:
In a paper published early this year in Nature Human Behavior, scientists asked 500 Americans what they thought about foods that contained genetically modified organisms.
The vast majority, more than 90 percent, opposed their use. This belief is in conflict with the consensus of scientists. Almost 90 percent of them believe G.M.O.s are safe — and can be of great benefit.
The second finding of the study was more eye-opening. Those who were most opposed to genetically modified foods believed they were the most knowledgeable about this issue, yet scored the lowest on actual tests of scientific knowledge.
Carroll points out that...
A great deal of science communication still relies on the “knowledge deficit model,” an idea that the lack of support for good policies, and good science, merely reflects a lack of scientific information.
The problem is that experts have been giving accurate information for years to little effect.
In 2016, a number of researchers argued in an essay that those in the sciences needed to realize that the public may not process information in the same way they do. Scientists need to be formally trained in communication skills, they said, and they also need to realize that the knowledge deficit model makes for easy policy, but not necessarily good results.
It seems important to engage the public more, and earn their trust through continued, more personal interaction, using many different platforms and technologies. Dropping knowledge from on high — which is still the modus operandi for most scientists — doesn’t work.
It's been remarked that you cannot use reason to lead a person away from a position that they did not reach using reason! See please: https://twitter.com/gwensnyderPHL/status/1133057510292824065 -which charts one pathway to lunacy... No clear way to reverse the pathway, and I suspect "subtle persuasion" is pretty weak tea as a solution.ReplyDelete
I'd like to point out that although much opposition to GMOs are rhetorically situated with misinformation, they ethical foundation is rooted in suspicions about capital, power, colonialism, and culture. Unless scientists engage in those discussions with vigor, fact checking every wonk and hoisting innovative K-12 science curriculum will return little cognitive allegiance.ReplyDelete