Coronavirus: why do some people reject science and facts that don’t fit with your vision?

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In an article published yesterday, we gave some possible explanations to why the coronavirus has been able to put against the ropes to the middle planet. According to Miguel Pita , author of “A day in the life of a virus”, the causes are in the weren of the virus itself, but also on some of the limitations of human psychology. Why if you don’t some rulers it took so long to react when the epidemic is shot? Why we look bad to blame or not we associate the spread of the virus to our own habits?

Adrian Bardon , Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University, in North Carolina, united States, points to another possible cause to explain the impact of the virus. In an article that has been published in “The Conversation”, Bardon stands out the “bias anti-scientific” or denial of the holocaust scientist that prevails in the united States .

“Anthony Fauci (maximum adviser to the U.S. government in response to the COVID-19) recently blamed the ineffective response of the country in the face of the pandemic to the “bias anti-scientific” american,” has written. “He said that this bias is “incondecible”, because “science is true” and compared to those who downplay the masks and the social distancing with the “anti-vaccinations” in your “astonishing “refusal to listen to the science”.

“His manifestation of surprise is what surprises me, to me”, continued Adrian Bardon. “So well versed as it is in the science of the coronavirus, (Fauci) you have overlooked the well-established “bias anti-scientific “”.

Universes of information and biases

In his opinion, there is nothing new that americans live in communities that are highly polarized and informative and ideologically isolated, “occupying its own universe of information.”

that’s why some believe that climate change is a farce, or so uncertain that he does not deserve a response. Or leads to evidence on the safety of vaccines or the consumption of transgenic “are distorted or ignored”. In regards to the coronavirus, this kind of islands also carry the deposit of more or less confidence in masks and on the social distance depending on the political affiliation .

The impotence of the acts

“In theory, resolving disputes about facts should be relatively easy”, has been written by Adrian Bardon. “Put simply, there is present strong evidence or a strong consensus of experts”.

however, while this is effective for issues, little controversy, as the atomic weight of hydrogen or the behavior of a black hole, “is not equal when the scientific information presents a picture that is a threat to the interests or the ideological vision of the world of someone.”

“In practice, it turns out that the identity politics, religious or ethnic predicts quite effectively the readiness of someone to accept the word of experts in a matter of politicized concrete”, has continued the author.

“In practice, it turns out that the identity politics, religious or ethnic predicts quite effectively the readiness of someone to accept the word of experts in a matter of politicized concrete”

According to Bardon, in his book “The truth about denial of the holocaust”, the process of deciding what evidence to accept based on the conclusion that one would prefer to receive the name of “reasoning motivated”: “This human tendency affects all kinds of facts about the physical world, the history of the economy or the current facts”.

Reasoning motivated on climate change

In the face of what may seem to you, this phenomenon is not born of the lack of information . For Bardon, their origin is in the “political conviction”. In support of this idea, the author recalls that a metaestudio showed in 2015 that the ideological polarisation on the climate change increases the greater is the knowledge about politics, science or energy.

“The probability that a conservative is a holocaust denier of the science of climate change is significativmaente greater if he has received training in the university “. On the other hand, those with the highest score in test sophistication, cognitive or quantitative reasoning are more likely to adopt a “reasoning motivated” climate change”.

This is not only happens to conservatives. The progressives also are less likely to accept the consensus of the experts about the security of the storage of nuclear waste.

The cause is in the tribe

why is all this happening? For the Professor of Philosophy, these biases are the product of many hundreds of thousands of years of adaptation: “ Our ancestors evolved in small groups , where cooperation and persuasion had much to do with reproductive success, as have beliefs that are adjusted on objective facts. The assimilation with the tribe itself required the assimilation with the belief system of the group, regardless of whether it was based on science or superstition. Therefore, the bias instinctive, in favor of the group and its vision are deeply rooted in human psychology “.

on the other hand, “the self-concept is strongly linked with group identity and beliefs”, has continued Baron. “That’s why not sosprende that people respond automatically and defensively at the information that threaten the world view of the groups with which they identify”.

This instinctive response is rationalized, and leads to selectively choose the evidence that interest us, falling into what is known as “confirmation bias”: on this basis, a “ we give credibility to the testimonies of the experts who we like , but reject the rest”.

The information is an attack against the beliefs

According to has continued the philosopher, this bias leads to inflexible thinking when living in situations of difficulty, such as stipulated in John’s Post: “For example, the populations who experience economic stress or an external threat often turn to authoritarian leaders who promise security and stability “.

Moreover, as it has continued, “in situations charged ideologically, the prejudices of one just affecting the beliefs on the facts.” To the extent that the information that threatens the belief system, as the negative effects of industrial production on the environment, “threaten your own sense of identity”: “If political leaders of confidence, or the media partisan you say that the crisis of the COVID-19 is magnified, the information about the facts and the scientific consensus in the opposite direction can feel like an attack staff”.

In summary, the negationism of the science is, according to Adrian Bardon, resistant to the facts, because fundamentally it is an expression of identity, usually against threats perceived to the status quo economic and social, which are typically manifested in response to the messages of the elites”. For this reason, advocates respond precisely paying attention to what the science says about the negationism of the science.

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