Knowledge Resistance: Causes, Consequences and Cures
The main objective of this ambitious cross-disciplinary program is to investigate the nature and causes of knowledge resistance, the tendency not to accept available knowledge. This represents the first concerted effort to provide a unified framework within which to investigate knowledge resistance, going beyond the state of the art on several levels. First, foundational issues concerning the nature of knowledge resistant reasoning is investigated, examining the specific types of irrationality involved in knowledge resistant belief formation. The foundational issues will be developed by the philosophy team in close connection with the empirical work done within the other sub-projects. Second, the psychology team will design experiments to investigate the motivational sources of knowledge resistance, with a special focus on how to counteract it. Third, the program will study the moderating effects of partisanship and ideological predispositions on the propensity to misuse or resist evidence. The political science team will investigate under what conditions predispositions are helpers or blinders to citizens when evaluating politically relevant political information in an increasingly heterogeneous information environment. Fourth, the media and communication research team will study the supply of misinformation in traditional, digital and social media, as well as the role in knowledge resistance played by selective exposure based on party preferences or ideology.