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(Mother Jones)   Study shows that no amount of logic, reason, or science can change an anti-vaccinator's mind   (motherjones.com) divider line 128
    More: Obvious, Brendan Nyhan, MMR, messages  
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4063 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Mar 2014 at 9:17 AM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-07 10:30:16 AM  

NerdCoreRageQuit: ragekage: Yes, we had a whopping cough outbreak here because we have some lovely granola-eating types 'round here who go blahblahblahherdimmunityblahblahautism.

Hey now, don't lump us granola eating types in with the Anti-Vaxxars.  A lot of us wish they would just move to another state and die off already.  From my experience, the granola eating types are less likely to follow organized religion and are more open to science and tech (at least here in Northern California).


Yeah, I'm going to be disinclined to agree here.  New-age therapies, and other anti-science bullshiat is endemic to the culture.  That doesn't mean hippy->idiot, just that certain classes of idiots tend to favor hippy-lite attitudes.
 
2014-03-07 10:34:23 AM  
Anti vaxxers tend to run the gamut of beliefs, so I don't think it's fair to say one way or another that it's the liberals' or conservatives' fault.  Me, I blame stupid.  See charts

Case in point:  My friend's mother-in-law and sister-in-law are strong anti-vaxxers, and they're religious bigots from New Jersey, recently moved to California.  They really don't fit in.  Her husband, on the other hand, is a sharp guy and has an MD in Pathology.  You'd think that anything he could say to them would have an effect.  No matter what he says, argues or educates, they still don't believe.
 
2014-03-07 10:37:17 AM  

NerdCoreRageQuit: Anti vaxxers tend to run the gamut of beliefs, so I don't think it's fair to say one way or another that it's the liberals' or conservatives' fault.  Me, I blame stupid.  See charts

Case in point:  My friend's mother-in-law and sister-in-law are strong anti-vaxxers, and they're religious bigots from New Jersey, recently moved to California.  They really don't fit in.  Her husband, on the other hand, is a sharp guy and has an MD in Pathology.  You'd think that anything he could say to them would have an effect.  No matter what he says, argues or educates, they still don't believe.


"Agree to not kill my kids or I divorce you and sue for custody" is where I'd tend to end up, myself.
 
2014-03-07 10:39:53 AM  
To be fair, it's rare for anyone to ever change their minds about anything. For examples, click "Politics" above.

In this particular case it's mostly about screwed-up risk assessment, which is a problem everyone has. The risks of getting polio, rubella, etc. are a lot less salient in peoples' minds than the (tiny) risk of problems with the vaccines.

/I know this analysis doesn't make the issue any less depressing
 
2014-03-07 10:39:57 AM  

HindiDiscoMonster: Pants full of macaroni!!: [img.photobucket.com image 709x492]

the flaw in that logic is this: gravity

prove gravity exists. give a definitive measurement like you can with electricity or magnetism... show lines of force, something to directly prove it exists.

either gravity exists or the earth just sucks... I vote the latter.

:P


You can measure gravity pretty easily.  millions of people carry accelerometers around in their pocket.
 
2014-03-07 10:40:49 AM  

ikanreed: Yeah, I'm going to be disinclined to agree here.  New-age therapies, and other anti-science bullshiat is endemic to the culture.  That doesn't mean hippy->idiot, just that certain classes of idiots tend to favor hippy-lite attitudes.


Perhaps I live in a unique community then.  Northern California has a lot of hippies working in the tech industry and are better informed than most.  Everyone I know that is a hippy has also gotten their kids vaccinated and tends to argue for it.
 
2014-03-07 10:41:50 AM  

ikanreed: "Agree to not kill my kids or I divorce you and sue for custody" is where I'd tend to end up, myself.


Hyperbole doesn't help change minds either.
 
2014-03-07 10:44:55 AM  

Silly_Sot: They did need a study for this. Anti-vaccine is an infection in liberal minds far more than it is conservative (see also "Shopping at Whole Foods"). There is a prejudice that liberals are magically immune from being stupid.


No one ever said that liberals don't have a share of the stupid.  They're just saying they don't have anywhere near an EQUAL share of the stupid.
 
2014-03-07 10:45:22 AM  

CruJones: I need a vaccine that protects me from stupid people.


It's called "pandemic".
 
2014-03-07 10:45:47 AM  
I think the general reason anti-vaxxers are grouped in with tea partiers is because of the anti science angle, but the nice thing about anti vaxxer stupidity is it knows no political bounds. you can find this particular brand of idiot on the radical fringe of either side of the political spectrum.
 
2014-03-07 10:45:50 AM  

Silly_Sot: MyRandomName: ristst: Reminds me of the Tea Party

A large set of anti vaccers are liberals... no study has shown large sets being tea party... so.. lolwut?

Since you're an idiot, I'll spell it out.

The BEHAVIOR reminds the poster of Teabagger behavior. And said poster is correct. It pretty much IS Teabagger behavior and the Teabagger mind, merely in a liberal outfit.


So I used to work at a 'natural childbirth' center. Which meant, I got to meet a HUGE number of people who were anti-vaccine, homeopathy, homeschooling crazies. I'm generalizing here a bit because I didn't keep perfect track, but out of say 100 clients, we'd have around 20 who were in these camps. Of those, it was a near perfect 50/50 split between conservative and liberal. In all cases, they were the extreme of one or the other. I find this type of mindset to be true among personal acquaintances as well. It's really rather fascinating seeing the extreme cases arguing with each other, when they have so much to agree on. Only big difference I see between the two: the extreme left tends toward over the top political correctness and the extreme right is the complete opposite.

/new owners of the birth center are extremely conservative, religious, anti-vaccination, homeopathy-using, homeschooling, vegan-granola-eating, 'spy on employees while complaining the gubment is spying on them', etc crazy types...
 
2014-03-07 10:45:51 AM  

Egoy3k: HindiDiscoMonster: Pants full of macaroni!!: [img.photobucket.com image 709x492]

the flaw in that logic is this: gravity

prove gravity exists. give a definitive measurement like you can with electricity or magnetism... show lines of force, something to directly prove it exists.

either gravity exists or the earth just sucks... I vote the latter.

:P

You can measure gravity pretty easily.  millions of people carry accelerometers around in their pocket.


See, but how do you know there's not a secondary force that happens to mimic our understanding of gravity, and [long and elaborate argument to try and destroy methodological naturalism, as a concept, just because I'm afraid of my religion is wrong]
 
2014-03-07 10:46:16 AM  
Hey, thanks for reading my posts.  I like the dialogue we're having.

ikanreed: "Agree to not kill my kids or I divorce you and sue for custody" is where I'd tend to end up, myself.


You read about the part where I said the husband has a degree in Pathology and believes what she believes, right?  It's the mother/sister-in-laws that I cite are the problem examples of anti-vaxxer belief.  Your post makes it seem like you think the husband is siding with his mother and sister.  Not sure though. 

Well, in any case, it's nice that we agree that anti-vaxxers are crazy.  Let's hope for more agreement in the future, especially since it seems like you're writing for the conservative side.  There's hope for 'murica yet!
 
2014-03-07 10:48:02 AM  

DrewCurtisJr: ikanreed: "Agree to not kill my kids or I divorce you and sue for custody" is where I'd tend to end up, myself.

Hyperbole doesn't help change minds either.


Failing to vaccinate is like letting 8 year olds swim without supervision, it's not going to kill your kids, but if your significant other is putting up an argument about how important it is, they're endangering(with a huge increase in risk) your kids for no reason.
 
2014-03-07 10:49:31 AM  

NerdCoreRageQuit: You read about the part where I said the husband has a degree in Pathology and believes what she believes, right? It's the mother/sister-in-laws that I cite are the problem examples of anti-vaxxer belief. Your post makes it seem like you think the husband is siding with his mother and sister. Not sure though.


No I read that incorrectly, where I interpreted it as him disagreeing with her.  Sorry.
 
2014-03-07 10:52:04 AM  

NerdCoreRageQuit: ikanreed: Yeah, I'm going to be disinclined to agree here.  New-age therapies, and other anti-science bullshiat is endemic to the culture.  That doesn't mean hippy->idiot, just that certain classes of idiots tend to favor hippy-lite attitudes.

Perhaps I live in a unique community then.  Northern California has a lot of hippies working in the tech industry and are better informed than most.  Everyone I know that is a hippy has also gotten their kids vaccinated and tends to argue for it.


You live an incredibly insular life then.

Also, i question how many "hippies" you really know.

Berkeley is overrun with anti vaxxers and anti-mainstream med folks.
 
2014-03-07 10:52:56 AM  

doubled99: Yeah great study,  the same goes for just about any highly controversial topic that exists today.


The point is that there's no controversy. Vaccines have saved so many lives that we have a global population explosion despite a global decrease in number of births per mother.
 
2014-03-07 10:57:17 AM  

ikanreed: Egoy3k: HindiDiscoMonster: Pants full of macaroni!!: [img.photobucket.com image 709x492]

the flaw in that logic is this: gravity

prove gravity exists. give a definitive measurement like you can with electricity or magnetism... show lines of force, something to directly prove it exists.

either gravity exists or the earth just sucks... I vote the latter.

:P

You can measure gravity pretty easily.  millions of people carry accelerometers around in their pocket.

See, but how do you know there's not a secondary force that happens to mimic our understanding of gravity, and [long and elaborate argument to try and destroy methodological naturalism, as a concept, just because I'm afraid of my religion is wrong]


I'm hoping that won't be attempted as a serious response, since I was responding to a post that already granted that measurements of electricity and magnetism were 'definitive'.  We'll see though.
 
2014-03-07 11:00:13 AM  

someonelse: s1ugg0: MyRandomName: ristst: Reminds me of the Tea Party

A large set of anti vaccers are liberals... no study has shown large sets being tea party... so.. lolwut?

Citation Needed.

There is a bit of crossover of cranky libertarian anti-vaccination people. But for the most part they seem to be crunchy granola new age hippie types who are simply ignorant, misinformed, and tremendously suspicious of the "industry" side of the medical industry.


So basically you just pulled that out of your ass because you "think" it's true.  Thanks for making that clear.
 
2014-03-07 11:01:18 AM  

o'really: You live an incredibly insular life then.

Also, i question how many "hippies" you really know.

Berkeley is overrun with anti vaxxers and anti-mainstream med folks.


I grew up in Oakland, California and went to UC Berkeley.  I have friends who teach Bikram Yoga, have their own massage studios and smoke/consume marijuana like it's a daily vitamin.  I also know people who are involved in such activities but work for Google, EA Games and Erickson.  Many of them are programmers, artists and gamers.  I should add that they are working professionals who also define themselves as hippie types (and yes, I know that hippies are different than hipsters-- I'm not confusing the terms). 

I'm not questioning your experience, you seem rather convinced of your own opinion.  Perhaps it's a matter of the generational divide?
 
2014-03-07 11:02:28 AM  

ikanreed: they're endangering(with a huge increase in risk) your kids for no reason.


Like I said, hyperbole doesn't change minds. What is the huge increase is risk in real numbers?
 
2014-03-07 11:06:08 AM  

ikanreed: "Agree to not kill my kids or I divorce you and sue for custody" is where I'd tend to end up, myself.


But yeah, I'm totally with you on that point if such were the case.  Hopefully I'd get those terms ironed out before marriage though.
 
2014-03-07 11:11:32 AM  

s1ugg0: someonelse: s1ugg0: MyRandomName: ristst: Reminds me of the Tea Party

A large set of anti vaccers are liberals... no study has shown large sets being tea party... so.. lolwut?

Citation Needed.

There is a bit of crossover of cranky libertarian anti-vaccination people. But for the most part they seem to be crunchy granola new age hippie types who are simply ignorant, misinformed, and tremendously suspicious of the "industry" side of the medical industry.

So basically you just pulled that out of your ass because you "think" it's true.  Thanks for making that clear.


Not involved in your debate, but the only relevant cross-tabs I could find:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2585949/

Centrists(I'm not one) tended to do a little better pre-education than either liberals or conservatives, the very surprising(to me) thing, is if you educate conservatives about vaccines, their attitudes wildly improve.

Note that the numbers are all bad here, because these are chiropractic students.  But again, it's the only crosstabs I could find on the issue.
 
2014-03-07 11:14:15 AM  

ChimphandStrong: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/how-to-resist-pediatrician-pro /

Just stick with the comments section.  That's all you need to know.


I feel ill after reading that. I've seen a man with his intestines hanging out and I'm more frightened by what I read in that link.
 
2014-03-07 11:22:13 AM  

DrewCurtisJr: ikanreed: they're endangering(with a huge increase in risk) your kids for no reason.

Like I said, hyperbole doesn't change minds. What is the huge increase is risk in real numbers?


http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/images/pertussis-graph-2012-lg.gif
 
2014-03-07 11:22:34 AM  

HindiDiscoMonster: Egoy3k: HindiDiscoMonster: Pants full of macaroni!!: [img.photobucket.com image 709x492]

the flaw in that logic is this: gravity

prove gravity exists. give a definitive measurement like you can with electricity or magnetism... show lines of force, something to directly prove it exists.

either gravity exists or the earth just sucks... I vote the latter.

:P

You can measure gravity pretty easily.  millions of people carry accelerometers around in their pocket.

hu·mor /ˈ(h)yoomər/
noun: humour; noun: humor; noun: cardinal humor; plural noun: cardinal humors
1. the quality of being amusing or comic, esp. as expressed in literature or speech.


Sorry poes law.... 

/It may also help to replace the batteries in your snark-o-meter
//accelerometers measure a symptom of gravity, not the thing itself.



As opposed to magnetometers, voltmeters or ammeters?
 
2014-03-07 11:23:48 AM  

DrewCurtisJr: ikanreed: they're endangering(with a huge increase in risk) your kids for no reason.

Like I said, hyperbole doesn't change minds. What is the huge increase is risk in real numbers?


http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/images/incidence-graph-age.jpg
 
2014-03-07 11:24:11 AM  

ikanreed: it's the only crosstabs I could find on the issue.


Still, it's something.  Thanks for that.  I find that the numbers for the liberal side decreasing after education to be extremely depressing.  Gonna have to bring a bat to the head to more people on my side of the coin, it seems.

/Tends to be liberal/moderate, but keeps an open mind above all things.  Or try to, anyway.
 
2014-03-07 11:33:34 AM  
It is possible, but not easy, to change someone's mind - to a certain extent, anyways. My wife, I found out, was sort of "anti-vaccine light" - wasn't sure kids needed all of them, and believed some of the BS about too many vaccinations at once "overwhelming your immune system". I felt very strongly about the issue, and we talked at length about it... and eventually she agreed with me that our daughter would go on a normal vaccination schedule.

Then I got T1 diabetes (lucky me) and she read up on the environmental trigger aspect of it - and was suddenly on board with our daughter getting every vaccine that exists, pretty much, in the hopes that she won't have a trigger later (chickenpox is one of the potential trigger viruses, I think). Now she is loving the fact that all of the kids in her class have chickenpox and she is just happy as a clam.

She still believes in taking vitamins for just about everything, though. I am learning to let that one go.
 
2014-03-07 11:34:56 AM  

s1ugg0: someonelse: s1ugg0: MyRandomName: ristst: Reminds me of the Tea Party

A large set of anti vaccers are liberals... no study has shown large sets being tea party... so.. lolwut?

Citation Needed.

There is a bit of crossover of cranky libertarian anti-vaccination people. But for the most part they seem to be crunchy granola new age hippie types who are simply ignorant, misinformed, and tremendously suspicious of the "industry" side of the medical industry.

So basically you just pulled that out of your ass because you "think" it's true.  Thanks for making that clear.


That seems like a needlessly pissy response to a statement that was pretty clearly meant as my personal observation. Sorry about your cornflakes.
 
2014-03-07 11:42:31 AM  

someonelse: s1ugg0: someonelse: s1ugg0: MyRandomName: ristst: Reminds me of the Tea Party

A large set of anti vaccers are liberals... no study has shown large sets being tea party... so.. lolwut?

Citation Needed.

There is a bit of crossover of cranky libertarian anti-vaccination people. But for the most part they seem to be crunchy granola new age hippie types who are simply ignorant, misinformed, and tremendously suspicious of the "industry" side of the medical industry.

So basically you just pulled that out of your ass because you "think" it's true.  Thanks for making that clear.

That seems like a needlessly pissy response to a statement that was pretty clearly meant as my personal observation. Sorry about your cornflakes.


The specific post you were responding to was "Citation Needed".  You responded with a vague assertion.  Of course they're going to be like "Ha, that proves you wrong."  You should've fronted with "I don't think the citation exists, but there's enough casual evidence for me"
 
2014-03-07 11:44:20 AM  
FTA: "Nyhan and one of his coauthors, Jason Reifler of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, are actually the coauthors of a much discussed previous study showing that when politically conservative test subjects read a fake newspaper article containing a quotation of George W. Bush asserting that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, followed by a factual correction stating that this was not actually true, they believed Bush's falsehood more strongly afterwards-an outcome that Nyhan and Reifler dubbed a "backfire effect."

There was another article I read about conservatives, where the researchers found that the more educated (as in book learnin') conservatives were actually more concretely wacko than their less-bookish conservative brethren. Seems that what they believe is much more tied to their sense of self than with liberals, and they will discard factual information if that information runs contrary to their current knowledge, that knowledge being part of the "self" they want to protect.

So it doesn't really matter if the information is true or false... if it doesn't fit with their pre-aligned biases and beliefs it will be tossed, lest they start to question who they are and what they truly believe.

Kinda explains the bible-thumpers and FoxNoise too, don't it?
 
2014-03-07 11:51:13 AM  
This is why vaccinations should be mandatory with no exemptions.
 
2014-03-07 11:51:31 AM  

Necronic: http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/images/incidence-graph-age.jpg


Doesn't really answer the question. As the study linked in the article states, vaccination rates are only on of several factors in outbreaks. And even in the worst years your actual chance of getting it is still very rare, especially considering all the other causes of death and injury in children.
 
2014-03-07 11:52:39 AM  
People who did not reach their position through reason cannot be reached by reason.
 
2014-03-07 12:00:44 PM  

generallyso: People who did not reach their position through reason cannot be reached by reason.


An assertion you are basing on what unshakable synthesis of logic and empirical evidence?
 
2014-03-07 12:02:29 PM  

ristst: MyRandomName: ristst: Reminds me of the Tea Party

A large set of anti vaccers are liberals... no study has shown large sets being tea party... so.. lolwut?

I was referring to the "no amount of logic, reason, or science can change their mind" part of the headline.  I have no idea about the political affiliation of anti-vaccinators.


B-b-but if we don't assign a political party affiliation to each position, how will I know which side to argue on?
 
2014-03-07 12:04:20 PM  

ChipNASA: Because they're *right*


Because "mommy intuition" and "validation from other mommies" are the highest authorities in the land.

Somehow not using a condom endows them with the power of infallibility!
 
2014-03-07 12:05:29 PM  
Futility is the definition of trying to get otherwise sane people to understand there's a better way .. than anti- or pro.

But you keep aborting the people who come here with that knowledge ..
 
2014-03-07 12:06:24 PM  

Gary-L: Idiots.  Don't you know they can pray those diseases away?  And if the child dies, then that's what God wanted.  Duhhhhhh


In my experience the anti-vaxx thing is not strongly correlated with religious derpitude. (at least up here in the heathen northeast). It seems to be more based on "Earthy crunchy mom logic trumps decades of rigorous science." mixed with a little "Natural is inherently superior to man made".

So hokum.
 
2014-03-07 12:07:42 PM  

someonelse: We need to see a reverse psychology version of this study. Tell parents that we only have a limited amount of these vaccines, and the free market dictates that they go to the highest bidder. They will be demanding accessible, affordable vaccinations in no time. Give it to them, and let them think they won a David v. Goliath battle against Big Pharma.


That would SO work.
 
2014-03-07 12:13:04 PM  

ikanreed: Yeah, I'm going to be disinclined to agree here.  New-age therapies, and other anti-science bullshiat is endemic to the culture.  That doesn't mean hippy->idiot, just that certain classes of idiots tend to favor hippy-lite attitudes.



I propose that believing crazy things may push people towards associating with hippies. People like to be accepted (even dumb people) and hippy types will smile and nod even while you explain how you can communicate with dolphins and they have been telling you about their home planet.
 
2014-03-07 12:15:24 PM  

ragekage: Yes, we had a whopping cough outbreak here because we have some lovely granola-eating types 'round here who go blahblahblahherdimmunityblahblahautism.

Not quite as bad as the folks who claim their kid has a gluten-dairy-egg-meat-nut "allergy", or so says their doctor- that is, their Doctor of Naturopathic and Eastern medicine. I imagine that kid had a fun-filled life.


In all seriousness, probably did. Those granola babes dish it out, cousin.
 
2014-03-07 12:15:50 PM  

NerdCoreRageQuit: Perhaps I live in a unique community then.  Northern California has a lot of hippies working in the tech industry and are better informed than most.  Everyone I know that is a hippy has also gotten their kids vaccinated and tends to argue for it.


I think the cause and effect are the other way around.

Hippies tend to be nice to everyone, including people who are dumb or believe dumb things.
All people want to be around people who treat them with respect.
For anti-vaxxers the hippy community is one of the places they can spout their ignorance without people mocking them.
 
2014-03-07 12:19:19 PM  
This study has a fatal flaw.

I'm in the public health sector, and part of my job is promoting vaccines (along with shoing people how to poop on a stick to prevent colon cancer).

All the serious research shows that about 40% of vax-deniers are unreachable, but the rest are swayed by either docs or info given by friends who know better. We're reinforcing the peer group, so that they can better shoot down the stupid when their friends say "but...Autism!". The 60% aren't really hardcore. They're simply a little bit concerned, and this usually shows up in delays in vaccinations, not refusals. Up here in canadaland, we're still at 95 to 97% coverage for all the childhood vaccines.

So the campaigns aren't really aimed at those who are already on the fence at all. We're just being wingmen to their smart friends.
 
2014-03-07 12:20:19 PM  

SpectroBoy: Hippies tend to be nice to everyone, including people who are dumb or believe dumb things.


I just remember a lot of "meat is bad for you, try this LSD instead."
 
2014-03-07 12:20:59 PM  

Fissile: It's faith with these people.  Sometimes it's paired with some religious creed...sometimes it's part of the  anti-gov, free-market paranoia/mania, but either way it's no different than religion.   Using facts, science and logic to convince these people that they are wrong about vaccination is like trying to convince a devout Muslim that Muhammad is not the prophet, or trying to convince an orthodox Jew that Moses never parted the Red Sea.  It's even worse with the Ayn Rand fans.  People like this once occupied the lunatic fringe, but they are now a sizable minority, with millions of adherents, and are capable of tilling national elections their way. This is why Murica is doomed.

/Nothing funny about it


All your references are against the right wing. Do you not know? The liberal granola contingent are the urban anti-vax revolutionaries. The right-wingers who don't vax live mostly in the country. The major threat, where un-needled folks are cloistered within city limits, comes from left-wingers. Millions of them at this point.

/There, now you all can go back to arguing like the people in the article
//Not left, right, or centrist
///Vaccinated
 
2014-03-07 12:21:33 PM  

Deep Contact: Is there any convincing scientific evidence that mass inoculations can be credited with eliminating any childhood disease?


Yes. Are you capable of understanding it? Since you asked that question to begin with, I'm guessing the answer is "No".
 
2014-03-07 12:26:24 PM  
ts4.mm.bing.net
 
2014-03-07 12:27:22 PM  

Null Pointer: This is why vaccinations should be mandatory with no exemptions.


Damn it people,we need more, education, fear, and pressure.
 
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