デバンキングハンドブック(4/6) 世界観バックファイアー効果

[Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S. (2011), The Debunking Handbook. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland. November 5. ISBN 978-0-646-56812-6.]

The Worldview Backfire Effect

The third and arguably most potent backfire effect occurs with topics that tie in with people’s worldviews and sense of cultural identity. Several cognitive processes can cause people to unconsciously process information in a biased way. For those who are strongly fixed in their views, being confronted with counter-arguments can cause their views to be strengthened.


One cognitive process that contributes to this effect is Confirmation Bias, where people selectively seek out information that bolsters their view. In one experiment, people were offered information on hotbutton issues like gun control or affirmative action. Each parcel of information was labelled by its source, clearly indicating whether the information would be pro or con (e.g., the National Rifle Association vs. Citizens Against Handguns). Although instructed to be even-handed, people opted for sources that matched their pre-existing views. The study found that even when people are presented with a balanced set of facts, they reinforce their pre-existing views by gravitating towards information they already agree with. The polarisation was greatest among those with strongly held views.[10]

この効果に寄与する一つの認知プロセスは、人々が自分たちの見方を支持する情報を選択的に探し出す、確証バイアスである。ある実験では、被験者たちは、銃規制や差別撤廃措置のようなホットボタンな問題についての情報を提示された。各情報は情報源が書かれていて、その情報が賛成か反対か(たとえば全米ライフル協会 vs 銃規制運動)明確にわかるようになっていた。両者を公平に提示したにもかかわらず、被験者たちは自分が元々持っている見方に合う情報源を選択した。この研究で、公平な形で情報を提示されても、人々は既に正しいと考えている情報に傾くことで、元々持っている見方を強化する。自分たちの見方を強く持っている人々の間で二極化が強く起きることがわかった。

What happens when you remove that element of choice and present someone with arguments that run counter to their worldview? In this case, the cognitive process that comes to the fore is Disconfirmation Bias, the flipside of Confirmation Bias. This is where people spend significantly more time and thought actively arguing against opposing arguments.[8]

もし、選択の要素を取り除いて、誰かに世界観に反する論を提示したら、どうなるだろうか? この場合、前面に出てくる認知プロセスは、反証バイアスすなわち、確証バイアスの裏面である。この場合、人々は非常に多くの時間を費やして、対抗議論に積極的に反論を考える。

This was demonstrated when Republicans who believed Saddam Hussein was linked to the 9/11 terrorist attacks were provided with evidence that there was no link between the two, including a direct quote from President George Bush.[11] Only 2% of participants changed their mind (although interestingly, 14% denied that they believed the link in the first place). The vast majority clung to the link between Iraq and 9/11, employing a range of arguments to brush aside the evidence. The most common response was attitude bolstering - bringing supporting facts to mind while ignoring any contrary facts. The process of bringing to the fore supporting facts resulted in strengthening people’s erroneous belief.


If facts cannot dissuade a person from their preexisting beliefs - and can sometimes make things worse - how can we possibly reduce the effect of misinformation? There are two sources of hope.

事実が既存の信念を変えさせられないなら、そして時には事態を悪化させるとしたら、誤情報の影響をどうやって減らせばいいのだろうか? 2つの方法がある。

First, the Worldview Backfire Effect is strongest among those already fixed in their views. You therefore stand a greater chance of correcting misinformation among those not as firmly decided about hotbutton issues. This suggests that outreaches should be directed towards the undecided majority rather than the unswayable minority.


Second, messages can be presented in ways that reduce the usual psychological resistance. For example, when worldview-threatening messages are coupled with so-called self-affirmation, people become more balanced in considering pro and con information.[12],[13]


Self-affirmation can be achieved by asking people to write a few sentences about a time when they felt good about themselves because they acted on a value that was important to them. People then become more receptive to messages that otherwise might threaten their worldviews, compared to people who received no self-affirmation. Interestingly, the “selfaffirmation effect” is strongest among those whose ideology was central to their sense of self-worth.


Another way in which information can be made more acceptable is by “framing” it in a way that is less threatening to a person’s worldview. For example, Republicans are far more likely to accept an otherwise identical charge as a “carbon offset” than as a “tax”, whereas the wording has little effect on Democrats or Independents−because their values are not challenged by the word “tax”.[14]


Self-affirmation and framing aren’t about manipulating people. They give the facts a fighting chance.


For those who are strongly fixed in their views, encountering counterarguments can cause them to strengthen their views.

8. Nyhan, B., & Reifler, J. (2010). When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions. Political Behavior, 32, 303-330.
9. Reber, R., Schwarz, N. (1999). Effects of Perceptual Fluency on Judgments of Truth, Consciousness and Cognition, 8, 338-3426.
10. Taber, C. S., & Lodge, M. (2006). Motivated skepticism in the evaluation of political beliefs. American Journal of Political Science, 50, 755–69.
11. Prasad, M., Perrin, A. J., Bezila, K., Hoffman, S. G., Kindleberger, K., Manturuk, K., et al. (2009). “There Must Be a Reason’’: Osama, Saddam, and Inferred Justification. Sociological Inquiry, 79, 142-162.
12. Cohen, G. L., Sherman, D. K., Bastardi, A., Hsu, L., & McGoey, M. (2007). Bridging the Partisan Divide: SelfAffirmation Reduces Ideological Closed-Mindedness and Inflexibility in Negotiation. Personality & Soc. Psych., 93, 415-430.
13. Nyhan, B., & Reifler, J. (2011). Opening the Political Mind? The effects of self-affirmation and graphical information on factual misperceptions. In press.
14. Hardisty, D. J., Johnson, E. J. & Weber, E. U. (1999). A Dirty Word or a Dirty World?: Attribute Framing, Political Affiliation,


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