Are Scientists Less Prone to Motivated Reasoning?

Are Scientists Less Prone to Motivated Reasoning?
(Avi Levin and Ilan Theiler/Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University via AP)

A new study lays out a bit of a conundrum in its opening paragraphs. It notes that scientific progress depends on the ability to update what ideas are considered acceptable in light of new evidence. But science itself has produced no shortage of evidence that people are terrible at updating their beliefs and suffer from issues like confirmation bias and motivated reasoning. Since scientists are, in fact, people, the problems with updating beliefs should severely limit science's ability to progress.

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