Ha ha hah. We are dumb.
Study Suggests More People Willing to Believe in ESP When Told It's Been Scientifically Disproven | Investigations | AlterNet
“We found relatively strong evidence that individuals are more likely to accept paranormal claims as true when they believe such claims have popular support,” the researchers write. However, “We found no effects indicating that science rejecting a claim led individuals to be less likely to believe the claim.
“In fact, when participants believed that science rejected a claim, they moved in the direction of being more likely to accept the clam as true. This finding ran counter to our expectations, but is consistent with findings that trust in science is decreasing.”
To put it another way: Those told ESP had widespread popular support were likely to express agreement with that consensus, regardless of the scientific consensus. But among those who were informed that only one-quarter of the population believed in the phenomenon, support was actually higher when science gave it a thumbs-down.
That collective gulp was from the climatologist community, which has every right to worry whether its warnings of the consequences of global warming are not only being tuned out, but actively discounted by a cynical public. Perhaps a study of paranormal beliefs is too specific to indicate a widespread distrust of lab-coated authority figures, but perhaps that’s precisely what it suggests.