Whether it is about the health impact of red wine, the right amount of vitamin D, or if you should be a vegetarian or a pescatarian, information from different sources can be inconsistent. While some of these conflicts are caused by “fake news” spread by non-experts, sometimes conflicting information results from actual scientific disagreement.

This project aims to understand better why expert disagreement exists and what such disagreement does to the public understanding of science. A better grip on the underlying processes of how people view expert disagreement and navigate conflicts may then allow us to detect through which determinants we can alter this behaviour.

In a first step, we try to answer the questions “Why there can be disagreement in science” and “how experts can disagree”. A taxonomy of types and causes for expert disagreement gives an overview of the possible reasons why and how experts may disagree.

In a second step, the project aims to investigate if there is a way to explain and predict how people handle conflicting information? What are the determinants that influence this behaviour?

A third step then aims to experimentally investigate if it is possible to alter/influence/manipulate (one of) these determinants so that people are better prepared to handle conflict/disagreement

Do you sometimes feel confused after reading all the mixed messages about which foods, diets, supplements and eating behaviours are good for you and which are bad?

We are interested in your views and would like to invite you to complete this survey (*SURVEY LINK TO COME*) and share your experiences with us.