How to Avoid the Backfire Effect and Change Minds

Contrary to what we might think, when presented with facts that run counter to what we currently believe we have a tendency of hardening, not softening, our currently held beliefs. This tendency is called the backfire effect and was discovered by researchers investigating how memory and knowledge are updated after correcting information has been received. The backfire effect works in several ways. Firstly there is the familiarity effect, the more someone is familiar with a claim the more likely they are to accept it as true.

Norwich Philosophy Circle. 16th March @ The White Lion, 6.30pm

I would like to invite you to this event some friends in Norwich are organising.

Norwich Community Philosophy Circle encourages equal participation by all in the community in the questions that matter to us. In the group we leave the books on the shelf but knowledge and experience are equally valued. All we ask is curiosity, a willingness to listen and a respect for others opinions.

Book Launch. The Alternative To Capitalism.

Saturday 11th March at 1pm. Space Studios, 5 Swan Lane, Norwich NR2 1HZ

If you are interested in political philosophy you might like to come to this event. It will not be a Socratic dialogue facilitated event like the ones at The Forum but there will be plenty of time for discussion.

This is an event to publicise the relaunch of Theory And Practice, a small scale radical book publishing project based in Norwich, UK. Current titles can be viewed at

Personal Identity

Dear friends,

Thanks to everyone that came along to The Forum today, and hello to everyone else that could not make it. If you'd like to think about the issues we discussed this time I would recommend having a look at the writings of Derek Parfitt. He was a highly influential philosophy of recent decades on the subject of personal identity, he sadly passed away earlier this year.

This video from Philosophy Tube is a good introduction:

A Philosophical Dialogue About Personal Identity. Saturday 28th January at The Forum, Norwich.

This is not a lecture. It is a dialogue in which anyone who wishes can participate. It is about talking and it is about listening. But most importantly of all it is about thinking, considering and reconsidering not only about the thoughts and arguments of others but those of our own. No previous knowledge of philosophy is required.

But what is philosophy?