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The Backfire Effect

I am really upset that President Trump is backing out of the Paris Accord. I believe global warming is a very current, very important issue that should be discussed. Everyone has different opinions, however, which I respect. Some people might not think the Paris Accord is as important as I think it is. On Friday, I had a discussion with one of those people. A person in my class said his/her opinion was that global warming was not real, was not happening, and didn't need to be addressed. This person then told me the Paris Accord wasn't important either. A bell went off in my head, saying: "This person has the stupidest opinion and they're WRONG." I told him/her "Your opinion is your opinion is your opinion, and my opinion is my opinion." The conversation ended at that, and I felt guilty for thinking that the person's opinion was stupid, because like I said, I respect other people's opinions. I did some research, and found something called the "backfire effect." This is when someone is provided with evidence that goes against their beliefs, but they reject the evidence and continue to believe. There is a lot of evidence of climate change, but you can choose to believe it or not. I still think global warming is an important issue, and the person in my class still thinks it is not. I've found the backfire effect in a few more instances since my interaction on Friday, and realize how peculiar it is, and how strong people's core beliefs can be. I encourage everyone to realize the backfire effect. It's hard to change, because it's how your brain is made. Even though we are all hard-wired with the backfire effect, it opened my mind and I see different opinions in a new light. 

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  • I totally agree. My science book is awful, its all like "global warming doesn't exist" "pollution is totally not happening and totally not killing tons of innocent sea turtles and animals around the world" I am so upset!!
  • You are absolutely right. I was very angry when trump backed out of the Paris accord. That was the first step to recovery from global warming worldwide!I have heard of the backfire effect but have always been confused by it!
  • Honestly I don't think that global warming is a opinion. It's a fact.
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    • Exactly! It's like saying "Abraham Lincoln is dead" is an opinion!
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