A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing: Excess Confidence Explains Negative Attitudes Towards Science

  title={A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing: Excess Confidence Explains Negative Attitudes Towards Science},
  author={Frederico Francisco and Simone Lackner and Joana Gonccalves-S'a},
  journal={SSRN Electronic Journal},
Scientific knowledge has been accepted as the main driver of development, allowing for longer, healthier, and more comfortable lives. Still, public support to scientific research is wavering, with large numbers of people being uninterested or even hostile towards science. This is having serious social consequences, from the anti-vaccination community to the recent "post-truth" movement. Such lack of trust and appreciation for science was first justified as lack of knowledge, leading to the… 
2 Citations

Figures and Tables from this paper

Informiertes Vertrauen: Eine psychologische Perspektive auf Vertrauen in Wissenschaft
Im Januar 2019 veröffentlichte ein pensionierter Lungenfacharzt eine Erklärung, in der er die geltenden Regeln für Grenzwerte bei Stickstoffdioxid, verursacht durch Autoabgase, als wissenschaftlich


The relationship between knowledge and attitudes in the public understanding of science in Britain
The belief that greater understanding leads to more positive attitudes informs many practical initiatives in the public understanding of science. However, there has been comparatively little
Creating Public Alienation: Expert Cultures of Risk and Ethics on GMOs
  • B. Wynne
  • Political Science
    Science as culture
  • 2001
This alternative understanding of the basic forces and responsibilities underlying public responses recognizes that they have intellectual substance, yet their intellectual substance does not correspond with institutional expert categories, since it goes much deeper than simply ‘disagreeing with’ or ‘rejecting’ expert views.
Public Understanding of, and Attitudes toward, Scientific Research: What We Know and What We Need to Know
Over the last four decades, a substantial body of national survey material has been collected in the US concerning the public understanding of science and technology. Using this body of research,
Gender differences in scientific knowledge and attitudes toward science: a comparative study of four Anglo-American nations
Despite a lack of empirical verification, research analysts and populist commentators have long assumed that a key factor in explaining anti-scientific attitudes among women is their greater
Science in Society: Re-Evaluating the Deficit Model of Public Attitudes
The “deficit model” of public attitudes towards science has led to controversy over the role of scientific knowledge in explaining lay people’s attitudes towards science. In this paper we challenge
Scientific communication in a post-truth society
It is argued that in the current political and media environment faulty communication is no longer the core of the problem and scientists must also develop online strategies to counteract campaigns of misinformation and disinformation that will inevitably follow the release of findings threatening to partisans on either end of the political spectrum.
Science knowledge and attitudes across cultures: a meta-analysis
The correlation between knowledge and attitudes has been the source of controversy in research on the public understanding of science (PUS). Although many studies, both quantitative and qualitative,
When science becomes too easy: Science popularization inclines laypeople to underrate their dependence on experts
After reading popularized articles addressed to a lay audience, laypeople agreed more with the knowledge claims they contained and were more confident in their claim judgments than after reading articles addressedto expert audiences.
Boomerang Effects in Science Communication
Exposing 240 adults to simulated news stories about possible climate change health impacts on different groups, it was found the influence of identification with potential victims was contingent on participants’ political partisanship and resulted in a boomerang effect among Republican participants.
Survey research and the public understanding of science
The term ‘public understanding of science’ (PUS) has a dual meaning. First, it covers a wide field of activities that aim at bringing science closer to the people and promoting PUS in the tradition of