"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

The Backfire Effect

The Misconception: When your beliefs are challenged with facts, you alter your opinions and incorporate the new information into your thinking.

The Truth: When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger

Reagan said the woman had 80 names, 30 addresses and 12 Social Security cards which she used to get food stamps along with more than her share of money from Medicaid and other welfare entitlements. He said she drove a Cadillac, didn’t work and didn’t pay taxes. He talked about this woman, who he never named, in just about every small town he visited, and it tended to infuriate his audiences. The story solidified the term “Welfare Queen” in American political discourse and influenced not only the national conversation for the next 30 years, but public policy as well. It also wasn’t true.


3 responses to “The Backfire Effect

  1. Al Fin May 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Most of us who have been out in “the real world” for a while have come into contact with people who scam the government in one way or another. I have seen the phenomenon all the way from high level defense contractors to lowly illegal aliens on welfare. It happens whenever a government attempts to redistribute goodies based upon one governing algorithm or another, in exchange for votes, favours, or just a little peace.

    Whenever someone tells you that an urban legend isn’t true, they fail to tell you the many ways in which it may actually be true in a figurative sense. “True” and “False” in the real world usually do not work in binary fashion.

  2. Pops May 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Perhaps the President was thinking ahead:

    Different country; same idea, and we the people have to pay for it.

    Just stumbled into your blog from here: I’ll be back.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: