Enlightenment Reloaded (Aufklärung Reloaded, AuRel)

Changing irrational beliefs and promoting scientific thinking

Irrational beliefs are a growing problem. Even important political figures have been observed to disparage scientific evidence as fake news. Scientific findings of efficacy do not play a role in medical decisions for many people (e.g., homeopathy, antivaccination).

Not only do such developments stand in contrast to current standards of a basic (natural) science education and increasing standards of evidence-based practice, they also pose a threat to people’s responsible participation in today’s society. Responsible action cannot stem solely from subjective beliefs. It must also be the result of critical reflection regarding the best available knowledge. A central challenge in today’s society is the facilitation of critical thinking and an informed handling of scientific knowledge. The mass availability of all forms of information from all sources in the digital age makes such competencies all the more important.

The goal of this research is to examine the prerequisites, processes, and results of exposure to and use of scientific knowledge.

Funding: The project is funded by "ProForschung20" of the University of Erfurt.

Involved researchers

The researchers involved form an interdisciplinary group from cognitive psychology, educational psychology and educational science: