June 23, 2015
Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it.
Politicians know it. Advertisers know it. And those who make extraordinary claims about science (and pseudoscience) certainly know it: Presenting the same
information in different ways by using different names or emotional triggers changes the way those claims are perceived. And we can all fall victim to
it—the general public, as well as scientists and skeptics. We’re all human!
Thank goodness for the Skeptic’s Toolbox, coming August 6–9 in Eugene, Oregon!
Every year, the Skeptic’s Toolbox offers a weekend of hands-on workshops and training for the skeptically inclined. For 2015, the theme is “Framing: Sanctifying the Bogus and Demonizing the Scientific.”
This year’s Skeptic’s Toolbox will examine how framing affects perceptions in journalism, medicine, politics, and other areas in which people have to
choose to believe or reject dubious claims. It will focus not only on how framing changes the acceptability of a claim but also on the backfire effect—when
providing evidence against a claim actually strengthens, rather than weakens, the belief in that claim.
On hand to guide you through it all is a sharp, talented group of skeptic leaders, like Ray Hyman, James Alcock, Harriet Hall, Lindsay Beyerstein, and Loren Pankratz.