Do facts work?

After the election, I had to look up something I remembered from a while ago: when people are confronted with facts challenging their beliefs, instead of being convinced by the new evidence, they become more strident in their original beliefs. I didn’t misremember. It was easy to find many articles summarizing the 2010 Nyhan/Reifler study.

Of particular interest is another, more recent study challenging the “backfire effect.”

That’s good news! A post-truth1Apparently, Oxford Dictionaries disagrees. world would be a scary place.

Photo credit: “museums061” by Kevin Christopher Burke. Used under a Creative Commons license.