WHENCE PSEUDOSCIENCE? AN EPIDEMIOLOGICAL APPROACH

Stefaan Blancke*, Maarten Boudry, Johan Braeckman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, we develop an epidemiological approach to account for the typical features and persistent popularity of pseudoscience. An epidemiology of pseudoscience aims at explaining why some beliefs become widely distributed whereas others do not and hence seeks to identify the factors that exert a causal effect on this distribution. We pinpoint and discuss several factors that promote the dissemination of pseudoscientific beliefs. In particular, we argue that such beliefs manage to spread widely because they are intuitively appealing, manage to hitchhike on the authority of science, and successfully immunize themselves from criticism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalMetode science studies journal
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • pseudoscience
  • epidemiology of representations
  • human cognition
  • epistemic vigilance
  • science mimicry
  • CULTURAL-EVOLUTION

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