Cognitive limits of effective information processing and communication

VEGA 2/0085/17

Duration of the project:
2017 – 2020

Principal investigator:
PaedDr. Vladimira Kurincová Čavojová, PhD.

List of scientific co-workers:
Mgr. Lenka Valuš, PhD.
PhDr. Eva Ballová Mikušková, PhD.
Mgr. Jana Bašnáková, MSc.
Mgr. Mária Túnyiová, PhD.
Mgr. Marek Jurkovič, PhD.
PhDr. Ivan Brezina, PhD.
PhDr. Robert Krause
Mgr. Jakub Šrol

The aim of the project is to identify and describe factors contributing to people’s better acceptance, comprehension, and processing of expert information that is necessary for informed and evidence-based decision making. The amount and complexity of information is growing steadily, however, people tend to believe more in pseudoscientific theories, biases or they deny science altogether, which has a negative impact on the life of individuals (refusal of vaccination, financing ineffective “treatment” methods, ignoring medical recommendations, believing in conspiracies, etc.). Lack of comprehension and acceptance of expert information are caused by (1) cognitive limitations of the information recipient (e.g., confirmation bias), (2) the way information is phrased and presented (e.g., using percent instead of natural frequencies). By studying these limitations, we should be able to design and test the possibilities of efficient communication of information for debiasing and optimization of decisions.

Key words:
cognitive biases, epistemically suspect beliefs, scientific reasoning, debiasing, confirmation bias