Changing Broken Minds, One Dumb Joke at a Time

by Vatul

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Problem: Continued Influence Effect
Despite a retraction, people continue to rely on misinformation
Alternative Account: Alternative explanation fills gap left by retracting misinformation
Repeated Retraction: Strengthen retraction through repetition (without reinforcing myth)

Problem: Familiarity Backfire Effect
Repeating a myth increases familiarity, reinforcing it
Emphasis on Facts: Avoid repetition of the myth; reinforce the correct facts instead
Pre-exposure Warning: Warn upfront that misleading information is coming

Problem: Overkill Backfire Effect
Simple myths are more cognitively attractive than complicated refutations
Simple, Brief Rebuttal: Use fewer arguments in refuting the myth - less is more
Foster Healthy Skepticism: Skepticism about information source reduces influence of misinformation

Problem: Worldview Backfire Effect
Evidence that threatens worldview can strengthen initially held beliefs
Affirm Worldview: Frame evidence in worldview-affirming manner by endorsing values of audience
Affirm Identity: Self-affirmation of personal values increases receptivity to evidence


released August 26, 2017
Ryan Werner: Guitar, sax, pedal clicks.
Dan Fitch: Voice, trumpet, drumstick drops.




Vatul Madison, Wisconsin

all is flux

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