What makes misinformation stick? Certainty

And this is not Magritte’s painting. It is, however, a digitally reproduced photo of ‘The Treachery of Images’.

One way to combat mis-information and dis-information is to reinforce good information with patiently explained evidence. But according to Ilana Redstone, the deeper problem is that people are unduly certain. Indeed, certainty is a trap that encourages people to defend a contentious claim as if it were a fortress. As a result, contending sides barely listen to each other and polarization undermines civil discourse. Redstone offers some suggestions for loosening the hold of this trap. [This story originally appeared in Tablet Magazine, at tabletmag.com, and is reprinted with permission.}

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