What is Denialism?
14 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2022
Date Written: April 30, 2007
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: Suggested Citation