The Backfire Effect. Even With The Facts On Your Side, You Lose

Have you ever wondered how people can hang onto a belief long after the facts have proved them wrong?

We’ll it turns out that for many people, with strongly held opinions, the presentation of contradictory facts actually increases their certainty, rather than demolishing it.

This is a human failing. A cognitive issue that affects human thought. We are all prone to it. But it is usually avoided because most people just aren't that certain to start with, so are open to a change of mind.

But if you wonder why people hang onto climate change denial now that 99.8% of scientists have concluded that man made climate change is a real thing. Or how the anti-vaccination crowd can hold onto their beliefs in the face of a now rising whooping cough epidemic and resurgent mumps, with far greater cost and mortality than their misplaced fears, this is the reason. When you believe something strongly enough, the facts do not affect you.

So much of American politics is explained by this. And it is a global issue.

On a personal note I suggest this simple exercise. If you are dead certain you are right about something, and yet there is also controversy, try assuming that you might not know the whole story. From that position, you leave open the possibility the new information will lead you closer to the truth.

On the other hand you could simply say that what you “know” is what you know and the truth doesn't matter. I recommend the more open approach, because the truth actually matters

Here's some more on this phenomenon: How Politics Makes Us Stupid


Gerard V is unreal! Amazing night!!!

Gerard V

Gerard V is a comedy hypnotist entertainer based in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific including the USA and sometimes Europe . He does shows for companies, clubs and charities where he works live on stage with audience volunteers that he has never met before.   Gerard VTel: +61 468 419 994

Blog Categories


Gerard's blog. Mostly show related but other stuff too.

Entertainment ideas

Interesting, fun, or unique entertainment ideas for your events.


Interesting, fun, and other info related to fund raising.


Ideas and other info related to fund raising.

Hens stags and bucks

Posts Relating to Pre-wedding and Wedding Entertainment Events

Hypnosis faq

Common questions about hypnosis

Party ideas

Ideas for parties and smaller events

Show faq

Frequently asked questions about the shows.


A Blog About Sleep and Sleeping, Naps, Napping and Good Health

Small groups

Posts relating to small events

Successful fundraisers

Ways to make your fund raising show more successful.


Testimonials from Corporates, Schools and Clubs

The show

FAQ about the show.

Venues faq

Things I am asked about what kind of venues work well.


Excerpts from shows, and other great stuff.


Things we can do for that Special Day