People experience the backfire effect because of the process that they go through when they encounter information that contradicts their pre-existing beliefs.

Essentially, when a person encounters information which suggests that their current beliefs are wrong, they feel threatened, which causes them to generate a variety of negative emotions. This is especially likely when the beliefs in question are crucial to their self-concept, so they represent an important part of that person’s identity and ideology.

The negative emotions that people generate end up negatively affecting their ability to accept the corrective information that they encountered, by increasing the likelihood that they will refuse to process it properly, and by increasing the likelihood that they will attempt to discount it.

People who often attempt to discount and reject corrective information that they encounter may experience the backfire effect sometimes. Specifically, in their attempt to reject corrective information, people will first attempt to recall pre-existing knowledge that they can use in their arguments, which could cause to reinforce that knowledge in their minds, and therefore increase their support of their pre-existing beliefs.

When people argue against unwelcome information strongly enough, they often end up with more arguments to support their stance. This can cause them to believe that there is more proof to support their viewpoint than there was before they were presented with the unwelcome evidence, which can cause them to support their original stance more strongly than they previously did.

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I served as a teacher, a teacher on Call, a Department Head, a District Curriculum, Specialist, a Program Coordinator, and a Provincial Curriculum Coordinator over a forty year career. In addition, I was the Department Head for Curriculum and Instruction, as well as a professor both online and in person at the University of Phoenix (Canada) from 2000-2010.

I also worked with Special Needs students. I gave workshops on curriculum development and staff training before I fully retired

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