Seeing is believing: The effect of brain images on judgments of scientific reasoning

  title={Seeing is believing: The effect of brain images on judgments of scientific reasoning},
  author={David P Mccabe and Alan D. Castel},
Brain images are believed to have a particularly persuasive influence on the public perception of research on cognition. Three experiments are reported showing that presenting brain images with articles summarizing cognitive neuroscience research resulted in higher ratings of scientific reasoning for arguments made in those articles, as compared to articles accompanied by bar graphs, a topographical map of brain activation, or no image. These data lend support to the notion that part of the… Expand
Look Again: Effects of Brain Images and Mind–Brain Dualism on Lay Evaluations of Research
Little evidence of neuroimaging's seductive allure or of its relation to self-professed dualistic beliefs is found, suggesting that brain images are less powerful than has been argued. Expand
Explaining the alluring influence of neuroscience information on scientific reasoning.
It is found that neuroscience information, even though irrelevant, made people believe they had a better understanding of the mechanism underlying a behavioral phenomenon, and neuroscience information may provide an illusion of explanatory depth. Expand
On the (non)persuasive power of a brain image
This work ran a series of systematic replications of the original study, arriving at a more precise estimate of the effect, determining that a brain image exerted little to no influence. Expand
Persuasive images in popular science: Testing judgments of scientific reasoning and credibility
No significant differences were found between readers’ evaluations of the news article with the images isolated as the only independent variable, suggesting that images alone may not have a strong effect upon evaluation and that further research is needed to determine what, if any, role images play in conjunction with the text to create a persuasive effect. Expand
Different clues from different views: The role of image format in public perceptions of neuroimaging results
It is suggested that choice of image format matters when disseminating neuroscience research to the general public, and brain images previously rated as more three-dimensional produced more positive evaluations of the articles with which they were presented. Expand
Naive realism in public perceptions of neuroimages
It is suggested that the more concrete and ‘brain-like’ the image is, the more credibility it has, and the appearance of threedimensionality or tangibility in presentation formats increases the perceived validity of associated findings. Expand
Neuroscience and the soul: Competing explanations for the human experience
It is found that belief in soul decreases when neuroscience provides strong mechanistic explanations for mind, but when explanatory gaps in neuroscience research are emphasized, belief inSoul is enhanced, suggesting that physical and metaphysical explanations may be used reflexively as alternative theories for mind. Expand
The Selective Allure of Neuroscientific Explanations
Some claim that recent advances in neuroscience will revolutionize the way we think about human nature and legal culpability. Empirical support for this proposition is mixed. Two highly-citedExpand
Neuroscientific information bias in metacomprehension: The effect of brain images on metacomprehension judgment of neuroscience research
The findings suggest that the readers’ subjective judgments differ from actual comprehension, and shows that the text accompanying brain images was associated not only with credibility of the text, but also with higher metacomprehension judgments. Expand
Superfluous Neuroscience Information Makes Explanations of Psychological Phenomena More Appealing
It is concluded that the “allure of neuroscience” bias is conceptual, specific to neuroscience, and not easily accounted for by the prestige of the discipline. Expand


Images Are Not the (Only) Truth: Brain Mapping, Visual Knowledge, and Iconoclasm
Representations of the active brain have served to establish a particular domain of competence for brain mappers and to distinguish brain mapping’s particular contributions to mind/brain research. AtExpand
Can cognitive processes be inferred from neuroimaging data?
  • R. Poldrack
  • Medicine, Psychology
  • Trends in Cognitive Sciences
  • 2006
It is argued that cognitive neuroscientists should be circumspect in the use of reverse inference, particularly when selectivity of the region in question cannot be established or is known to be weak. Expand
ELSI Priorities for Brain Imaging
Key figures in bioethics and the humanities, neuroscience, media, industry, and patient advocacy are queried in focus groups and interviews to identify specific ethical, legal and social issues that highlight researcher obligations and the nonclinical impact of the technology at this new frontier. Expand
The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience Explanations
The neuroscience information had a particularly striking effect on nonexperts' judgments of bad explanations, masking otherwise salient problems in these explanations. Expand
Picturing Personhood: Brain Scans and Biomedical Identity
List of Illustrations ix Acknowledgments xi Chapter 1 Introduction 1 Interlude 1 Thinking about Reading 19 Chapter 2 Metaphors, Histories, and Visions of PET 22 Interlude 2 Reading Function 50Expand
Representation in Scientific Practice
The essays in this book provide an excellent introduction to the means by which scientists convey their ideas. While diverse in their subject matter, the essays are unified in asserting thatExpand
Constructing knowledge. The role of graphs and tables in hard and soft psychology.
Enhanced "graphicacy" among psychologists could contribute to the progress of psychological science by providing alternatives to significance testing and by facilitating communication across subfields. Expand
Peer-review practices of psychological journals: The fate of published articles, submitted again
A growing interest in and concern about the adequacy and fairness of modern peer-review practices in publication and funding are apparent across a wide range of scientific disciplines. AlthoughExpand
fMRI in the public eye
The wide dissemination and expanding applications of functional MRI have not escaped the attention of the media or discussion in the wider public arena. From the bench to the bedside, this technologyExpand
Fact or Phrenology
The growing controversy over fMRI scans is forcing us to confront whether brain equals mind