How to debunk myths

dbh_large.gifSkeptical Science, the website that "gets skeptical about global warming skepticism", has released The Debunking Handbook. It's available as a free PDF download, and I encourage you to download a copy and read it.

Perhaps the most important message is in a callout box on the first page: "It's not just what people think that matters, but how they think." Here's a blurb about the booklet from the Skeptical Science website:

The Handbook explores the surprising fact that debunking myths can sometimes reinforce the myth in peoples' minds. Communicators need to be aware of the various backfire effects and how to avoid them, such as:

It also looks at a key element to successful debunking: providing an alternative explanation. The Handbook is designed to be useful to all communicators who have to deal with misinformation (eg - not just climate myths).

I haven't finished Thinking, Fast and Slow yet, and I've only skimmed this short PDF, but the advice from Skeptical Science seems completely consistent with Kahneman's survey of how we think.