Speaker Series 2023 September 15th

Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation & Rhetoric along with the PhD in Argumentation Studies at the University of Windsor invite you to a talk by

Nathan Radke, Humber College

Rejecting Reality: Belief, Evidence, and Cognitive Dissonance

Abstract: In 1954, the leader of a UFO-based doomsday cult predicted both the imminent end of the world through a massive flood and the arrival of a flying saucer that would rescue the true believers from the apocalypse. Neither even occurred, but the failed predictions provided an opportunity for the social psychologist Leon Festinger to test his theories of cognitive dissonance.  This talk examines Festinger’s field work and applies his findings to help understand some of the modern conspiracy-based belief systems (such as the QAnon movement) that are currently ascendent in our society, and to illustrate some of the difficulties that are encountered when reason and argumentation are employed in an attempt to guide people away from dangerously unsound claims.


Friday, September 15th, 2023

3:00 pm

Chrysler Hall North 1163