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The Debunking Handbook - Free E-book

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posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 07:41 AM
I picked up on a tweet by Derren Brown, and thought I'd share it with my fellow ATSers.

The "Debunking Handbook" was written by John Cook ("Global Change Institute", University of Queensland) and Stephan Lewandowsky (School of Psychology, University of Western Australia) and is described as follows:

“Although there is a great deal of psychological research on misinformation, there’s no summary of the literature that offers practical guidelines on the most effective ways of reducing the influence of myths.

The Debunking Handbook boils the research down into a short, simple summary, intended as a guide for communicators in all areas (not just climate) who encounter misinformation.”

And this is the intro to the book:

Debunking myths is problematic. Unless great care is taken, any effort to debunk
misinformation can inadvertently reinforce the very myths one seeks to correct. To
avoid these “backfire effects”, an effective debunking requires three major elements.
First, the refutation must focus on core facts rather than the myth to avoid the
misinformation becoming more familiar. Second, any mention of a myth should be
preceded by explicit warnings to notify the reader that the upcoming information is
false. Finally, the refutation should include an alternative explanation that accounts
for important qualities in the original misinformation.

Download the Book Here

I only scanned the book (only 9 pages) and couldn't help but smile at how they try the put the "Art (?) of debunking" in a little box. And the fact that the book is riddled with grammatical errors told me that perhaps we should take it with a pinch of salt.

Would like to here what the debunkers (and believers) have to say about the "psychology of debunking".

posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 07:51 AM
reply to post by Gemwolf

The same guidelines outlined in that book can most probably be used just as successfully to discredit actual valid information to great success. The only thing requiring abit of work is coming up with the facts, but contradictory facts to almost anything are not hard to find nowadays, thanks to the internet. Even scientists rarely agree on theories, as every scientific theory have opponents, certain more than others. Newton, Einstein and Hawking have all been shown to be wrong in their grandest theories, even if the same theories are still useful in most cases.

That said, i bet that book could be of great use to some of the shills around here...

posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 01:38 PM
Great find!

Another of my favorites is the Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation

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