December 8, 2011
“What Curves Our Thoughts?”
How does Mooney intend to influence his audience /readers?
People are conditioned by a lifetime of learning. Chris Mooney, author of “The Science of Why We Don’t Believe in Science”, explores how difficult it would be for people to accept new information. When a person is confronted with facts that challenge a long-held belief, the result is a strong defense to their position, a process called “motivated-reasoning” in which people may instead be ‘rationalizing’. Rationalizing can help explain how, as a society; we can remain bias over issues for which there are loads of ...view middle of the document...
However according to Mooney, in each case, advocates criticized the study more while describing the study that was more in line with their previous inclinations and thoughts as more ‘convincing’.
Science is one of the best ways to see things more clearly because we are all limited in our individual perspectives when it comes to evaluating our own ideas. We must learn to feel comfortable with our own views and comfortable with accepting others’ views as well, even if we do not agree. This alone gives the audience or readers an emotional appeal towards the article. Mooney states, “People gravitate toward information that confirms what they believe.”(pg. 8) Many external factors influence what we believe, for example, authority figures, culture, religion, and past personal experiences. Our beliefs guide our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. A belief reflects our “map of the world.” helping us navigate through reality. This notion applies to the various perspectives that were formally stated. The first perspective that was introduced was the issue on president vaccine wars. Vaccines have changed the world, largely eradicating a series of terrible diseases, from smallpox to polio to diphtheria, and likely adding decades to most of our life spans. But despite the gains, there have been numerous scientific studies questioning vaccine safety. In some American communities, significant numbers of parents have been rejecting vaccines thus, raising new concerns about the effect of mandate vaccinations.
Current information on the science of vaccine safety examines the increasingly bitter debate between the public health establishment and a formidable populist coalition of parents, celebrities, politicians and activists who are armed with the latest social media tools including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. They are determined to resist pressure from the medical and public health establishments to vaccinate, despite established scientific consensus about vaccine safety. This is where the idea of rationaliziation takes place. Even though information and evidence are presented to deter opinions, one is inclined to believe what they want to believe regardless of what challenges their opinion. Mooney refutes the vaccination claims by referring to celebrities, parents, politicians, and activists to subtly point out to his audience or readers, that the alleged claims are largely...