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PseudoscienceThe Conspiracy Against Science$
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Allison B. Kaufman and James C. Kaufman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037426

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037426.001.0001

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The Psychology of (Pseudo)Science: Cognitive, Social, and Cultural Factors

The Psychology of (Pseudo)Science: Cognitive, Social, and Cultural Factors

(p.21) 2 The Psychology of (Pseudo)Science: Cognitive, Social, and Cultural Factors

Emilio J. C. Lobato

Corinne Zimmerman

The MIT Press

We review findings from the psychology of science that are relevant to understanding or explaining peoples’ tendencies to believe both scientific and pseudoscientific claims. We discuss relevant theoretical frameworks and empirical findings to support the proposal that pseudoscientific beliefs arise in much the same way as other scientific and non-scientific beliefs do. In particular, we focus on (a) cognitive and metacognitive factors at the individual level; (b) trust in testimony and judgments of expertise at the social level; and (c) personal identity and the public’s relationship with the scientific community at a cultural level.

Keywords:   scientific thinking, pseudoscience, belief revision, cultural identity, scientific literacy

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