Dogmatic People Are Less Likely to Check Their Facts

Dogmatic people pose a problem. They resist ideas, and divide groups. Find out why eliminating dogmatism is more challenging than you might think.

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Think They Already Know the Truth

Yet, we’ve probably all met someone who tends to think that they already know the truth and don’t want to hear any contrary evidence. The term for people like this is “dogmatic.”

Reluctant to Change Their Mind with New Data

Psychologists define dogmatic people as believing that their worldview is absolutely right. They’re also reluctant to change their mind, even in the face of new information.

700 Participants Took Part in Exercise

The researchers showed each subject two boxes with flashing dots. Participants were asked which square contained more spots.

Questionnaires Measured Their Degree of Dogmatism

After the test, each participant completed a wide-ranging series of questionnaires that measured their political orientation and their degree of dogmatism.

More Confident When Answer Was Ambiguous

The gap in the tendency to seek more information was more significant when the decision was unclear. In other words, the dogmatic people were far more confident than others when the correct answer was ambiguous.

Hard-Wired to Stick to Our Opinions

This seems to suggest that dogmatic people don’t subscribe to any particular life stance or political party. Some of us just seem to be hard-wired to stick to our opinions.

Pose a Problem for Cultures

Instead, we find that dogmatic people come from all walks of life and stubbornly insist on a wide range of different views. Dogmatists pose a problem for cultures because they stand in the way of progress, and they tend to polarize the group.

“So Free to Decide if We Have Enough Evidence”

Mr. Schulz said, “This is particularly relevant today. We have never been so free to decide if we have enough evidence about something or whether we should seek out further information from a reliable source before believing it.”

“It Might Be Wise to Check the Information Again”

Mr. Shulz concluded by saying, “In the end, it’s a cautionary tale, whether we think of ourselves as dogmatic or not: when uncertain, it might be wise to check the information again.”

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