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News Release 10-166

Why "Scientific Consensus" Fails to Persuade

Individuals with competing cultural values disagree about what most scientists believe

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Illustration of a newspaper and a cup of coffee.

In a recent study, the only thing that made a fictional author seem more or less worthy of being identified as an "expert" was the fit between the scientific viewpoints researchers attributed to that author and the cultural predispositions of test subjects.

Credit: 2010 Jupiter Images Corporation