Why They Fight the Facts

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Along with combating audience attitudes, we have other cognitive phenomena such as Confirmation Bias. Confirmation Bias is a theory that says that generally brains like to confirm what we think we already know and dismiss everything else (Marks & Fraley, 2006). This happens because our brains hate cognitive dissonance, which is simply the uncomfortable feeling we have when what we think we know doesn’t match what we are being told. Confirmation Bias helps get rid of that by saying, “let’s keep only THIS information and trash the rest”. Brains are tricky that way. Confirmation Bias is related to the Backfire Effect. The Backfire Effect can occur when people have very strongly held beliefs and are given contradictory information to that belief.

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