Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.

How facts backfire – The Boston Globe

The whole article is very, very well wroth reading.

I realize I have known this intuitively for years, that’s why I hardly ever attempt to debate with racists, homophobes, etc. The only thing that changes people’s minds (and hearts) is direct experience. That’s why integration, being exposed to the lives of others outside our own circles and actually experiencing a different culture (not just different as in “from another country”, but a different set of values and norms) is so important. The only way to change minds comes from experiencing how “the other” lives and feels.

For the past decade and a half I have been making all my content available for free (and never behind a paywall) as an ongoing practice of ephemeral publishing. This site is no exception. If you wish to help offset my labor costs, you can donate on Paypal or you can subscribe to Patreon where I will not be putting my posts behind a lock but you'd be helping me continue making this work available for everyone. Thank you.  Follow me on Twitter for new post updates.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top