Faith and facts

  (21 July 10)
  by Greg Spearritt

It seems that contradicting firmly-held beliefs with facts may be less than effective. In fact, it can be counter-productive, resulting in those beliefs being held even more strongly. That’s the conclusion of researchers at the University of Michigan.


This finding has implications for the political process as Julia and Tony struggle to shape public opinion in the lead to Australia’s polls on August 21. It also rings true, surely, for religious belief...






Not sure about the first post above!!

Here's another take on confirmation bias:

This tendency to give more attention and weight to data that support our beliefs than we do to contrary data is especially pernicious when our beliefs are little more than prejudices. If our beliefs are firmly established on solid evidence and valid confirmatory experiments, the tendency to give more attention and weight to data that fit with our beliefs should not lead us astray as a rule. Of course, if we become blinded to evidence truly refuting a favored hypothesis, we have crossed the line from reasonableness to closed-mindedness.

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