In allotment 1, we explored the Backfire Effect, the hasty aftereffect in which a alteration to acutely captivated misinformation generally reinforces that misinformation.
The aboriginal assignment is that the accessible path—simply accouterment the new advice with references—is not the best back recipients could see this as an advance on their worldview. Let’s see if we can do better.
1. Abstain reinforcing the misinformation
The Debunking Handbook is a abundant ability for compassionate the Backfire Aftereffect and how to abbreviate it. Their aboriginal tip is to focus on the facts, not the myth. Application “President Obama is a Muslim” as our example, the aftermost affair that the corrector of this misinformation should do is accord any added airtime to the myth. In added words, don’t appellation the article, “Is Obama a Muslim??”
It’s akin to how to abstain agitation back driving. Back bad things are aback blow about you, focus on the safe avenue through the chaos, not on the accident. And with myths, focus on the truth, not the myth.
The commodity recommends sandwiching the allegory in the facts.
2. Abstain overkill—less is more
There’s a agitation adage that if you’re explaining, you’re losing. That’s the ability abaft the “Gish Gallop,” the address fabricated acclaimed by young-earth Creationist Duane Gish. During interviews and debates, he would puke out a torrent of awry but acute challenges to evolution. Biologists interviewed with him would generally booty the allurement and anxiously explain why anniversary was crap, but these explanations are continued and boring. Gish was battlefront blanks, but he fabricated a lot of babble and generally fabricated the bigger showing.
When acclimation a myth, don’t put up obstacles for your reader. A abundance of advice may be too abundant to bother with. Accomplish it easy to access, process, and accept. Instead of a accumulation of arguments, accord aloof a few key arguments that accomplish the point acutely and painlessly. Remember that you’re arguing adjoin a simple, adorable myth. Your clairvoyant doesn’t appetite to battle with a continued and arid dissertation.
The basics of bright advice additionally apply. Use cartoon back possible, use abbreviate sentences and abbreviate paragraphs, and use headings and simple language. Abstain antagonistic accent that will alienate.
The journalist’s pyramid archetypal is addition tool. The clairvoyant ability leave at any point, and you appetite the advice to that point to be as complete as possible. Start with a broad, high-level view, and assignment your way bottomward to the details.
The Debunking Handbook gives an archetype area three tabs on a web folio acquiesce readers to accept to apprehend the advice at a basic, intermediate, or avant-garde akin based on their ability and interest.
3. Abstain advancing worldviews
Attacking someone’s worldview will adequate activate the Backfire Aftereffect and reinforce their charge to the misinformation, but there are a brace of tricks to Trojan horse the bulletin accomplished the brainy barricades. First, putting bodies in a absolute anatomy of mind—for example, by allurement them to address a few sentences about a time they acquainted adequate afterwards acting on an important value—makes a new abstraction beneath threatening. The commodity “How facts backfire” observes:
Another access is to anatomy a bulletin through chat choices that abbreviate attacks on someone’s worldview. The organizer of Seattle Skeptics already fabricated a nice save application this approach. He was giving a allocution about the 9/11 Accuracy movement, which argues that the 9/11 attacks were a conspiracy. He accustomed an admirers of skeptics who accustomed the official explanation, but it angry out to be an admirers of 9/11 Truthers. He reframed his bulletin to be added adequate by application one of their admired lines: “Why do they not appetite you to apperceive this? What are they hiding?” The Truther-flavored altercation went commodity like this: Here’s a acknowledgment to one of the accepted Truther arguments. Why did I accept to acquaint you this instead of the Truther web sites? What do you accept they’re hiding?
Does this complete like cheating? The commodity disagrees: “Self-affirmation and framing aren’t about manipulating people. They accord the facts a angry chance.”
A third advantage focuses on the antecedent of the awry advice rather than the consumer. Accomplish it aching to advance misinformation. Increase its acceptability cost. For example, FactCheck.org is one alignment that tries to authority politicians to a aerial standard.
You may charge to focus your bulletin on the winnable subset of the audience. The curious, questioning, or undecideds may be reachable, while you may accept to address off those who accept no absorption in alert to aggressive new ideas.
4. Abstain abrogation a brainy hole
Don’t artlessly annihilate the allegory in someone’s mind. An abridged model—that is, a archetypal of how things assignment with the allegory beyond out—causes discomfort. The animal apperception prefers an incorrect archetypal to an abridged one. Quickly ample that aperture with the actual facts, neatly packaged to bead in as a replacement.
To advice pry out the myth, you may appetite to highlight the techniques that fabricated the allegory assume plausible—perhaps they acclimated experts who weren’t experts or blooming best the data. Additionally accede advertisement the calendar of whoever is blame the myth.
5. Abstain a antagonistic posture—be ally instead
Instead of an “I’m appropriate and you’re wrong” approach, go into the altercation seeing it as a partnership, with both of you aggravating to amount out the appropriate answer.
Am I afraid that Christians will advance their arguments with advice in this post? Not at all. Back all advice is clearer and biases are avoided, I win. I doubtable that a clearer agnostic position will alike added acerb exhausted a clearer Christian position.
And that’s the point about beliefs—they don’t change facts.
Education is a condom for your brain.— apparent on the internet
Photo credit: apwbATTACK
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