How do we fight post-truth?
Image credit: @Paul M Hurtado
- Don’t accept to live in a post-truth world.
- People are ultimately not immune to correct, although unpleasant facts.
- Everyone is prone to a certain cognitive bias.
- “You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.”
Lee McIntyre, Post-Truth, MIT Press, 2018.
David P. Redlawsk et al., The Affective Tipping Point: Do Motivated Reasoners Ever “Get It”?, Political Psychology volume 31, issue 4, p.563-593
James Kuklinski et al., “Misinformation and the Currency of Democratic Citizenship,” Journal of Politics 62, no. 3 (August 2000): 790–816
Backfire effect is the phenomenon occurring when confronted with true information, someone clings to their false belief even stronger.
Try to change their beliefs
- To counter post-truth on a daily basis, you may try to gain the trust of the person in subject. A strategy to persuade someone you know is to soften them up with reminders of your closeness and then help them understand your point of view.
- Another strategy is to use the rules of supply and demand. The rarer something is, the more people want it, and the more they are willing to accept/ achieve. Try convincing them that what they believe in is not new and, definitely, not unique.
- Try using phrases and opinions of a person close to them, or the one they believe in. For example, "since Elon Musk says so, it might be true".
- When it comes to changing beliefs, facts are secondary. It is the human element that matters. For most believers, data and evidence may not be the way to change their mind. Since we are social creatures, we are fascinated by other humans.
Should we be critical even at the cost of dismissal?