From the Globe and Mail’s Facts and Arguments Section’s Social Studies by Michael Kesterton (July 15, 2010 page L6)
Facts Versus Arguments
“”Recently, a few political scientists have begun nto discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information,” Joe Keohane writes for teh Boston Globe. “It’s this: 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 actualy make misinformation even stronger.”"
Wow! Can’t say that I haven’t seen this in action. Watching television political talk shows lately and visiting summer BBQ’s when topics like BP oil spills, global warming, politics of any stripe, it seems clear that some people just don’t need facts to have a strong opinion.
It’s even more worrisome when they’re librarians!