Values Matter More Than Truth

According to the article “The Science of Why We Don’t Believe in Science”, conservative people are less likely (than their liberal counterparts) to change their views on topics like Climate Change and Vaccine – Autism links. It states that this is due to the fact that people (especially conservative people) tend to agree with the arguments that appeal to their value.

I think despite all the advancements in Science and the scientific method, there is still bias in the response different people give. For example, someone who values solid evidence and statistics complementing a particular argument is more likely to accept a new scientific discovery. This new scientific discovery may perhaps reject the validity of a belief. In this case, a strong believer is likely to reject the scientific discovery, since it is opposing the person’s value system. This is occurs all the time in the field of politics. Therefore, a scientific discovery that serves to support a values would be more appealing to a person with those values.

In fact, we often hear “experts say that…” This is a vague statement because it is not clear who the experts are. Experts are people that are very experienced and knowledgeable in fields of studies, but who have similar values to the individual. Therefore, the people party A thinks are experts may not be experts to party B, assuming both parties have conflicting values.

Furthermore, sometimes we find that as we find that people’s views become more polarised when a new set of data or a new observation rejects their views and values. This happened with the group that believed in scientology. Its ironic because a new observation that rejects the validity of a view should have changed an individual’s views, but instead it reinforced the intensity to which the individual believed in the opposing view.

Therefore, even if the truth were to side with one group’s view, it may not be easily excepted by everyone, since everyone has different values.

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1 comment to Values Matter More Than Truth

  • Jennifer

    yea, I agree that even if one’s view is opposite to the truth, one adheres even more strongly to his or her view. Again, on my post I’ve mentioned a story about a Korean singer Tablo; even though police investigation and his previous records proved that he did graduate Stanford, some people refused to accept it and they even continue to attack the authenticity of those proofs. Maybe if my view is opposed by someone else, I might also support my claim even more intensely; but looking at various examples of this contradictory reaction was really new and even shocking to me.

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