April 23, 2024

Why esoteric secrecy can be dangerous

Why esoteric secrecy can be dangerous

… when it turned out that a significant part of psychological studies could not be repeated with the same result – which shook confidence in the entire discipline for a long time.

Lamberti: However, the reforms were fundamental, for example with regard to sample sizes or pre-registration of studies. If you compare the research work from 2008 to 2018, you will quickly realize that there are worlds in between.

Nokon: Science is not infallible either. Serious actors can be recognized by the fact that they are open to criticism, admit their mistakes and correct them. This is how you are gradually getting closer to the truth. This openness to learning from mistakes is a principle of good science.

In your book, you also mention social movements against the enemies of science with hashtags like #FollowTheScience. But activists often content themselves with the condition of “belief” in science rather than evaluating the fallibility and inconsistency of the epistemological process – thus appearing to be somewhat authoritarian. Aren’t there smarter ways to deal with esoteric tangles?

Lamberti: Together with my colleague Roland Imhoff I have Conducted a study on esotericism and conspiracy beliefs. We asked two different thinking styles: a “analytical” style that is based on facts – and a ‘holistic’ style, which is more experience-based and intuitive. Scientific communication mostly works with the analytical method. This is very close to me personally: when, for example, Christian Drosten explains in the podcast how the coronavirus works. But there is an empty space for people who think more holistically. I’m not sure how to solve the problem well, after all this way of thinking goes against how science works. However, we must think about how to better reach people who treat the world differently than those in scientific editorial offices.

By the way, our research work also showed: frustration with the health care system The use of alternative medical procedures is hardly expected. So it’s not just because we’re clumsy!

“Anyone who considers science only a great conspiracy anyway can no longer be convinced by studies.”(Katrina Nocon)

How do I deal with my uncle who keeps falling back on esoteric products?

Nokon: Ask yourself: What void do these offerings fill, and how can I cleanse it in a healthy way? People are more susceptible to these thoughts, especially in times of crisis and situations of loss of control. Here we must monitor our environment. The sooner you intervene, the sooner the argument will make sense at all. Once you build a binary view of the world and only see science as a big conspiracy anyway, you can no longer be convinced by studies.

Lamberti: But we should always monitor ourselves and not assume that this only happens to others. Maybe I don’t believe in horoscopes or healing stones – but suddenly I wasn’t so critical of myself half-baked. If you start with yourself, you will become more empathetic in dealing with others.