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The Backfire Effect 
28th-Aug-2011 01:22 pm
Dilbert
We often wondered why UBF people stayed in denial mode even when all the issues were so clearly layed open and explained in the Internet, and we even had personal, lengthy discussions with them. Well, this article explains a lot:

http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06/10/the-backfire-effect/
Comments 
31st-Aug-2011 02:11 pm (UTC)
recently at a forum in Spanish
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=70492020564&v=wall

this problem arises to deny the obvious, and something I read in the article you refer to is outstanding "Once something is added to your collection of beliefs, you protect it from harm. "

I can only say that I agree
6th-Sep-2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing, Chris. This is an excellent article, and at least partially describes my psyche in the past. This quote is especially relevant to why I defended UBF so passionately in the past:

"Once something is added to your collection of beliefs, you protect it from harm. You do it instinctively and unconsciously when confronted with attitude-inconsistent information. Just as confirmation bias shields you when you actively seek information, the backfire effect defends you when the information seeks you, when it blindsides you."

I found that UBF could not be defended.
7th-Sep-2011 03:57 pm (UTC)
To be fair, the backfire effect could apply to both sides of an argument. Or at least, both sides of an argument could attribute the backfire effect to the "enemy" on the other side. I'm sure that UBF people attributed something like the backfire effect to people who opposed UBF, just as we attributed the backfire effect to them. So, what we usually end up doing is something like "agreeing to disagree". From what I've read recently, I think you don't like the concept of agreeing to disagree. You want genuine and open dialog. I mean, who doesn't? But maybe the backfire effect isn't all bad. Maybe, in some people's eyes, it's an evolutionary thing that developed in human society so that people wouldn't engage in interminable conflicts, but just walk away, cool off and hope that the other side would see reason in time.

I've thought for a while now what schuh72 expressed. People have to see what's wrong for themselves. They have to learn the hard way.
8th-Sep-2011 12:01 am (UTC)
I think you are correct. The effect goes both ways. I hate the idea of "agree to disagree" or "sneaky reform". We need to
expose the truth based of facts and logic, in a way that does not promote bitterness or malice.

15th-Sep-2011 03:09 am (UTC) - Thanks
Thanks so much for this article. It was very enlightening. I could see my own behaviors during the time that I was there. My mom tried to help me see the light as did many of my friends, but I stuck to it. It had to come from me. When I myself broke down and realized that there were some untruths going on. I thank God every day for helping me to one to that realization, but I also was shaped and strengthened because of the experience.
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