Café com Física

Is a little knowledge a bad thing? The relationship between scientific knowledge, overconfidence, and negative attitudes

by Dr Cristina Mendonça (LIP)

Sala de Conferências (Departamento de Física FCTUC)

Sala de Conferências

Departamento de Física FCTUC

Universidade de Coimbra

Science communication often assumes a deficit model in which people's negative attitudes towards science are explained as resulting from a lack of scientific knowledge. But can knowing a little bit about science actually be associated with holding attitudes that are less, not more, positive towards science? In this talk, we present evidence that it is not the truly ignorant, but those who have a little knowledge, who a) think they know more than they do and b) have the least positive attitudes towards science. Our results suggest, among other things, the importance of not oversimplifying knowledge when communicating science and of cultivating humility.

Organized by

Paulo Brás, Paulo Silva, Jaime Silva