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Refutations of Equivocal Claims: No Evidence for an Ironic Effect of Counterargument Number

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Refutations of Equivocal Claims : No Evidence for an Ironic Effect of Counterargument Number. / Ecker, Ullrich; Lewandowsky, Stephan; Jayawardana, Kalpana; Mladenovic, Alexander .

In: Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Vol. 8, No. 1, 01.03.2019, p. 98-107.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Ecker, U, Lewandowsky, S, Jayawardana, K & Mladenovic, A 2019, 'Refutations of Equivocal Claims: No Evidence for an Ironic Effect of Counterargument Number', Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 98-107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jarmac.2018.07.005

APA

Ecker, U., Lewandowsky, S., Jayawardana, K., & Mladenovic, A. (2019). Refutations of Equivocal Claims: No Evidence for an Ironic Effect of Counterargument Number. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 8(1), 98-107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jarmac.2018.07.005

Vancouver

Ecker U, Lewandowsky S, Jayawardana K, Mladenovic A. Refutations of Equivocal Claims: No Evidence for an Ironic Effect of Counterargument Number. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition. 2019 Mar 1;8(1):98-107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jarmac.2018.07.005

Author

Ecker, Ullrich ; Lewandowsky, Stephan ; Jayawardana, Kalpana ; Mladenovic, Alexander . / Refutations of Equivocal Claims : No Evidence for an Ironic Effect of Counterargument Number. In: Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition. 2019 ; Vol. 8, No. 1. pp. 98-107.

Bibtex

@article{34a00b13599448b98a7f0b84a589492e,
title = "Refutations of Equivocal Claims: No Evidence for an Ironic Effect of Counterargument Number",
abstract = "This study investigated the refutation of equivocal claims using counterarguments. Common sense suggests that more counterarguments should be more effective at inducing belief change. However, some researchers have argued that in persuasive reasoning, using too many arguments might lead to counterproductive skepticism and reactance. Thus, there have been calls to actively curtail the number of counterarguments used in refutations to avoid risking an “overkill backfire effect”—an ironic strengthening of beliefs from too many counterarguments. In three experiments, we tested whether calls to limit the number of counterarguments are justified. We found that a larger number of counterarguments (between four and six) led to as much or more belief reduction compared to a smaller number of (two) counterarguments. This was not merely an effect arising from a simple numerosity heuristic, as counterarguments had to be relevant to affect beliefs: irrelevant counterarguments failed to reduce beliefs even though perceived as moderately persuasive.",
keywords = "Misinformation, Debunking, Belief updating, Refutations",
author = "Ullrich Ecker and Stephan Lewandowsky and Kalpana Jayawardana and Alexander Mladenovic",
year = "2019",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.jarmac.2018.07.005",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
pages = "98--107",
journal = "Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition",
issn = "2211-3681",
publisher = "Elsevier B.V.",
number = "1",

}

RIS - suitable for import to EndNote

TY - JOUR

T1 - Refutations of Equivocal Claims

T2 - No Evidence for an Ironic Effect of Counterargument Number

AU - Ecker, Ullrich

AU - Lewandowsky, Stephan

AU - Jayawardana, Kalpana

AU - Mladenovic, Alexander

PY - 2019/3/1

Y1 - 2019/3/1

N2 - This study investigated the refutation of equivocal claims using counterarguments. Common sense suggests that more counterarguments should be more effective at inducing belief change. However, some researchers have argued that in persuasive reasoning, using too many arguments might lead to counterproductive skepticism and reactance. Thus, there have been calls to actively curtail the number of counterarguments used in refutations to avoid risking an “overkill backfire effect”—an ironic strengthening of beliefs from too many counterarguments. In three experiments, we tested whether calls to limit the number of counterarguments are justified. We found that a larger number of counterarguments (between four and six) led to as much or more belief reduction compared to a smaller number of (two) counterarguments. This was not merely an effect arising from a simple numerosity heuristic, as counterarguments had to be relevant to affect beliefs: irrelevant counterarguments failed to reduce beliefs even though perceived as moderately persuasive.

AB - This study investigated the refutation of equivocal claims using counterarguments. Common sense suggests that more counterarguments should be more effective at inducing belief change. However, some researchers have argued that in persuasive reasoning, using too many arguments might lead to counterproductive skepticism and reactance. Thus, there have been calls to actively curtail the number of counterarguments used in refutations to avoid risking an “overkill backfire effect”—an ironic strengthening of beliefs from too many counterarguments. In three experiments, we tested whether calls to limit the number of counterarguments are justified. We found that a larger number of counterarguments (between four and six) led to as much or more belief reduction compared to a smaller number of (two) counterarguments. This was not merely an effect arising from a simple numerosity heuristic, as counterarguments had to be relevant to affect beliefs: irrelevant counterarguments failed to reduce beliefs even though perceived as moderately persuasive.

KW - Misinformation

KW - Debunking

KW - Belief updating

KW - Refutations

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85053104428&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jarmac.2018.07.005

DO - 10.1016/j.jarmac.2018.07.005

M3 - Article

VL - 8

SP - 98

EP - 107

JO - Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition

JF - Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition

SN - 2211-3681

IS - 1

ER -