America has a problem -- a science-literacy problem. You don't have to know what the Krebs Cycle is in order to be successful, but your ability to discern fact from fiction in the field of health sciences can have a real impact on your quality of life. Unfortunately, there are several reasons why belief in pseudoscience is on the rise.
As time progresses, more and more Americans have college degrees. College-educated individuals tend to be more sure of themselves--to a fault. Education may be a good thing overall, but the fact is, curriculum in the arts and humanities is often focused on teaching argumentation skills, but can gloss-over critical thinking skills. For this reason, educated people are often very good at defending what they believe, but not very good at examining why they believe it (and whether or not it's actually true.) Folks with degrees are often inclined to lean on their education as the reason they must be correct--how else could they have finished school?
Then there's the "backfire effect." Believe it or not, presenting people with facts that contradict their preferred, albeit incorrect, beliefs actually causes them to dig-in deeper when defending their ideas about the world. People respond with knee-jerk reactions based on emotions rather than consider that they could be wrong.
Is there any help for this conundrum? Will we ever dig our way out of this pseudoscience hole? Be part of the solution -- take our quiz now!