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The Causes and Consequences of Wrongness Admission

Social Processes Lab


Januar 2014 - open-ended


IWM budget resources


Whether about politics, business, science, or the best food to eat, arguments and debates are everyday features of our social environment. While essential for progress, disagreements can also hinder progress and knowledge acquisition if neither party is willing to admit they are wrong. Unfortunately, it seems that society reinforces the idea that admitting wrongness shows weakness. As a result, we often hold on to, and even bolster, inaccurate beliefs and faulty knowledge. Previous research has focused on the ways in which people construct and hold on to faulty beliefs and strategies for attitude change. However, this project aims at investigating the cognitive and affective processes involved in being wrong. The main research focus is on the emotional consequences of wrongness admission and how it affects subsequent behavior. Using a variety of social cognitive methods, we hope to shed light on this important social process.


Fetterman, A. K., & Sassenberg, K. (2015). The Reputational Consequences of Failed Replications and Wrongness Admission among Scientists. PloS one, 10, e0143723.