Whether its GMOs or pesticides or economic effects of various food policies, it seems that the public often holds beliefs that are at odds with what the experts believe. A natural tendency - especially for someone who is an educator - it to propose that we need more education on these topics.
But, how effective are we at changing people's minds? This article in Pacific Standard by the psychologist David Dunning might give us pause.
The research suggests:
But, before you start feeling too confident in your own abilities, read the following:
Several studies seem to suggest that providing people with a little information may not lead to more agreement on an issue, but rather can result in polarizing opinions. The reason is that information makes use feel more informed, and lets us feel more confident in whatever our political or cultural tendencies would lead us to believe in the first place. That is, people bend information to reinforce their identity and cultural beliefs.