• Vaccines: Motivated Reasoning And How It Works

    By -


    One theme that I keep revisiting again and again is not so much a question of the science behind medical therapies (although certainly I do discuss that issue arguably more than any other) but rather a question of why. Why is it that so many people cling so tenaciously to pseudoscience, quackery, and, frequently, conspiracy theories used by believers to justify why various pseudoscience and quackery are rejected by mainstream science and medicine.

    To prove his point, Millhiser directs readers to the phenomenon known as “motivated reasoning” [2] studied in cognitive science and social psychology. In his article Millhiser states, that “A recent study adds to the growing evidence that our brains reject information that rebuts our strongly held beliefs.” That is the “jumping off point” for me, since I contend that motivated reasoning is a deliberate byproduct of social programming accomplished through the media, advertising, and most emphatically, by what’s called “branding,” i.e., when you successfully establish your product, services, or beliefs as those that satisfy the general public’s preferences, needs, and wants. [3] Or, here’s another facet: Opponents successfully rebrand their opposition to discount them as inferior in every capacity so as to neutralize them thereby leaving the opposition damaged – or as a pariah – in the public’s opinion, as currently is being done when there is legitimate disagreement.

    Branding, …

    One thing that must be remembered about motivated reasoning is that we as skeptics and supporters of science-based medicine must remember that, as human beings, we are by no means immune to this effect. Indeed, as Mooney points out, citing recent research, it’s quite possible that reasoning is a better tool for winning arguments than it is for finding the truth, and when motivated reasoning combine with the echo chamber effect of modern social groups bound together by the Internet and like-minded media, the result can be disastrous for science.

    Please Read this Article at



    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *