This Week at The Ethical Society of Austin

June 17

Climate Action and the Backfire Effect

… Or, How Your Brain Keeps You from Changing Your Mind.

Most of us think we can persuade people toward a position by presenting them with evidence, facts, statistics and other hard data. The truth is, when it comes to strongly held political and cultural ideas, presenting evidence can cause the hearer to “double-down” on their beliefs, and find reasons to reject the hard data they just heard. This is known as the “backfire effect” because presenting data in the wrong way can backfire and have the opposite effect of that intended. Understanding the backfire effect and how it works can help us in two ways: 1) It can help us understand how to bring people around to a different point of view on an important issue, and 2) it can help us understand how we ourselves are often blind to our preconceived notions when it comes to strongly-held beliefs.

Hans Maverick will give an overview of the backfire effect in general, talk about how it impacts rational climate policy, and discuss ways to overcome it.

This presentation is part of a series by the Ethical Society of Austin in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #13, “Climate Action”

#EthicalAustin #GlobalGoals


Sunday Ethical Education for Kids (SEEK) will be in session, from 10:30 until noon, the same time as our meeting

5604 Manor Road

10:00 am – Coffee and conversation

10:30 am – Program begins

Call to Ethical Action!

Ethical humanists are called to give blood at their local blood bank to demonstrate the need for more blood donors and to promote blood donations as a humanitarian act. This act is in support of Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Good Health and Well Being) and 13 (Climate Action). The Central Texas Blood Bank is now We Are Blood. #EthicalAustin #Ethical Action


ESA Statement of Purpose The Ethical Society of Austin is a humanistic organization inspired by the ideal that the supreme aim of human life is working to create a more humane society. Our faith is in the responsibility and capacity of human beings to act in their personal relationships and in the larger community to help create a better world. Our commitment is to the worth and dignity of the individual, and to treating each human being so as to bring out the best in him or her.  Members join together to assist each other in developing ethical ideas and ideals…to celebrate life’s joys and support each other through life’s crises…to work together to improve our world and the world of our children.

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