When Debunking Scientific Myths Fails (and When It Does Not)

  title={When Debunking Scientific Myths Fails (and When It Does Not)},
  author={Christina Peter and Thomas Koch},
  journal={Science Communication},
  pages={25 - 3}
When reporting scientific information, journalists often present common myths that are refuted with scientific facts. However, correcting misinformation this way is often not only ineffective but can increase the likelihood that people misremember it as true. We test this backfire effect in the context of journalistic coverage and examine how to counteract it. In a web-based experiment, we find evidence for a systematic backfire effect that occurs after a few minutes and strengthens after five… 
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OP-JNLC200036 646..669
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Understanding and Countering Misinformation About Climate Change
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While there is overwhelming scientific agreement on climate change, the public has become polarized over fundamental questions such as human-caused global warming. Communication strategies to reduce


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An extensive literature addresses citizen ignorance, but very little research focuses on misperceptions. Can these false or unsubstantiated beliefs about politics be corrected? Previous studies have
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Scholars have documented the deficiencies in political knowledge among American citizens. Another problem, misinformation, has received less attention. People are misinformed when they confidently
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On the basis of experimental data, we study how repetition of a statement affects perceived statement credibility. We identify 2 counteracting effects: The first effect, known as “truth effect,”
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Several lines of research have found that information previously encoded into memory can influence inferences and judgments, even when more recent information discredits it. Previous theories have
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Recommendations may help practitioners—including journalists, health professionals, educators, and science communicators—design effective misinformation retractions, educational tools, and public-information campaigns.
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This article reports 4 experiments concerning the effect of repetition on rated truth (the illusory truth effect). Statements were paired with differentially credible sources (true vs. false). Old
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Overall, results replicate and extend the negatively-biased framing effect in truth judgments and show that processing fluency may account for it.