The Backfire Effect

When some aspect of your core beliefs is challenged, it can cause you to believe even more strongly.

We can experience being wrong about some ideas as an attack upon our very selves, or our tribal identity. This can lead to motivated reasoning which causes a reinforcement of beliefs, despite disconfirming evidence. Recent research shows that the backfire effect certainly doesn’t happen all the time. Most people will accept a correction relating to specific facts, however the backfire effect may reinforce a related or ‘parent’ belief as people attempt to reconcile a new narrative in their understanding.

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” – Mark Twain