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Occidental College psychologist on why people resist science

by AirTalk®

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Signs are held during the March for Science in San Francisco, California on April 22, 2017. JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world joined the “March for Science” around the world over the weekend to call attention to the detrimental effects the defunding of scientific research might pose.

Evidence-based science is more important than ever, particularly with the amount of misinformation out in the world. Many have blamed political or religious ideology behind some people’s reluctance to accept proven scientific knowledge.

But as Occidental College’s cognitive psychologist Andrew Shtulman explains in his new book, “Scienceblind,” the reason is more complex, and goes back to theories about the world that are constructed in childhood. Shtulman argues that these “intuitive theories: are so ingrained in how we see and understand that world that they are almost impossible to upend with knowledge that we later learn in life.


Andrew Shtulman, an associate professor of psychology and cognitive science at Occidental College. He is the author of the new book, “Scienceblind: Why our intuitive theories about the world are so often wrong” (Basic Books, 2017)

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