Boosting understanding and identification of scientific consensus can help to correct false beliefs
Number of pages
SourcePsychological Science, 32, 10, (2021), pp. 1549-1565
Article / Letter to editor
Supplemental material for Boosting understanding and identification of scientific consensus can help to correct false beliefs (Version 2) -
PhD project data management plan -
Display more detailsDisplay less details
SW OZ BSI CW
SW OZ BSI SCP
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being; Communication and Media
Some people hold beliefs that are opposed to overwhelming scientific evidence. Such misperceptions can be harmful to both personal and societal well-being. Communicating scientific consensus has been found to be effective in eliciting scientifically accurate beliefs, but it is unclear whether it is also effective in correcting false beliefs. Here, we show that a strategy that boosts people’s understanding of and ability to identify scientific consensus can help to correct misperceptions. In three experiments with more than 1,500 U.S. adults who held false beliefs, participants first learned the value of scientific consensus and how to identify it. Subsequently, they read a news article with information about a scientific consensus opposing their beliefs. We found strong evidence that in the domain of genetically engineered food, this two-step communication strategy was more successful in correcting misperceptions than merely communicating scientific consensus. The data suggest that the current approach may not work for misperceptions about climate change.
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) to log in with SURFconext to upload a file for processing by the repository team.