Straight Outta Chumptown

In this episode (recorded 4/4/18), we talk about “the backfire effect”—the fact that people sometimes seem to hold ideas even more firmly after being confronted with evidence they are wrong.

We discuss Andrew Gelman’s skepticism of a New England Journal of Medicine report—which we discussed in the previous podcast—finding that firearm injuries in the US drop 20% while NRA members are attending national meetings; how skeptical we should be of research that confirms our preconceptions; “The Debunking Handbook” techniques for changing people’s minds; research into how much contrary information it takes to change people’s mind; whether culture or economics determines elections; how we avoid bias in forecasting and decision-making; and how we can stay out of Chumptown.

The four episodes of the You Are Not So Smart podcast on the “backfire effect” are here, here, here, and here.

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