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Home Encyclopedia Terms and Concepts The Backfire Effect

The Backfire Effect

The backfire effect is a self-filtering mental process by which a person disbelieves information that contradicts their existing knowledge, while giving greater weight to information that confirms preconceived notions.

The effect is described in excellent form at the website You Are Not So Smart, but that may simply be confirming my preconceived notions.

In the simplest of explanations, this is why the people you disagree with continue to believe stupid wrong things, no matter how much you tell them that you're smarter than them.   They think the same thing about you, unfortunately.