What is Denialism?

14 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2022

See all articles by Mark Hoofnagle

Mark Hoofnagle

Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine

Chris Jay Hoofnagle

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law; University of California, Berkeley - School of Information

Date Written: April 30, 2007

Abstract

This is the original 2007 essay that defined the "denialism" framework. Denialism is a concept that helps make sense of today's debates surrounding mis- and dis- information. It describes a rhetoric of intransigence where actors use conspiracy, selectivity (cherry-picking), fake experts, impossible expectations (also known as moving goalposts), and general fallacies of logic.

This version includes a postscript explaining how scientists have adopted and tested the denialism framework. Denialism has subsequently served as a framework for counter-programming against anti-global warming propaganda and anti-vaccine rhetoric.

Keywords: Disinformation, misinformation, fake news, conspiracy, selectivity, cherry-picking, fake experts, impossible expectations, moving goalposts, FLICC, inoculation, technique rebuttal, holocaust denial, decision making heuristics, motivated reasoning, cultural cognition,

JEL Classification: D8

Suggested Citation

Hoofnagle, Mark and Hoofnagle, Chris Jay, What is Denialism? (April 30, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4002823 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4002823

Mark Hoofnagle

Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine ( email )

St. Louis, MO 63110
United States

Chris Jay Hoofnagle (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

341 Berkeley Law Building
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
‭(510) 666-3783‬ (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://hoofnagle.berkeley.edu

University of California, Berkeley - School of Information ( email )

212 South Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-4600
United States
510-643-0213 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://hoofnagle.berkeley.edu

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