Physics Forums

Physics Forums (http://www.physicsforums.com/index.php)
-   General Discussion (http://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=14)
-   -   Persistence of myths (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=183096)

RetardedBastard Sep5-07 09:40 AM

Persistence of myths
 
Apparently, this WP article says that trying to debunk a myth might actually end up reinforcing the myth via repetition.

Quote:

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a flier to combat myths about the flu vaccine. It recited various commonly held views and labeled them either "true" or "false." Among those identified as false were statements such as "The side effects are worse than the flu" and "Only older people need flu vaccine."

When University of Michigan social psychologist Norbert Schwarz had volunteers read the CDC flier, however, he found that within 30 minutes, older people misremembered 28 percent of the false statements as true. Three days later, they remembered 40 percent of the myths as factual.

...

The conventional response to myths and urban legends is to counter bad information with accurate information. But the new psychological studies show that denials and clarifications, for all their intuitive appeal, can paradoxically contribute to the resiliency of popular myths.
"Myth-busters, in other words, have the odds against them."

I wonders, how do we debunk a myth without actually repeating the myth itself in the process?

NateTG Sep5-07 09:45 AM

Quote:

Quote by RetardedBastard (Post 1419269)
I wonders, how do we debunk a myth without actually repeating the myth itself in the process?

By promulgating the truths that contradict the myth. I'm sure that there is room for science there, but people are going to have an easier time remembering a positive declarative statement than a complicated one. So dependent clauses and negations are bad (unless you're a politician).


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:42 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014 Physics Forums