One study found that participants were far more likely to support new evidence when it had a graphic visualisation of the correlational evidence than if they had read the same evidence without a graphic.
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Anecdotal stories can undermine our ability to make scientifically driven judgements in real-world contexts.
We overestimate our comprehension of the science.
Part of the problem seems to be that we infer our understanding of scientific text based on how well we have comprehended the language used. This “fluency bias” can also apply to science lectures when it is delivered by an engaging speaker.
Even expert researchers suffer from the human foibles that undermine scientific thinking.
Confirmation bias, means we’re more likely to notice stories or facts that fit what we already believe (or want to believe). So, when you search for information, you should not disregard the information that goes against whatever opinion you might have in advance.
If you’re trying to explain to someone the issues with their stance, you can mitigate the backfire effect by presenting new information in a way that encourages the other person to consider and internalize that information, instead of rejecting it outright.
As most of us have preexisting mental models, it is hard to change one’s mind and completely eliminate the various cognitive biases.