People seem to be biased against being smart — in the sense of informing themselves — in these complex times. So advises research from the American Psychological Association. Better to trust those who know, seems to be the popular preference.
"Beyond just downplaying the catastrophic, doomsday aspects to their messages," the APA advises, "educators may want to consider explaining issues in ways that make them easily digestible and understandable, with a clear emphasis on local, individual-level causes."
We'd say: don't give up on informing folks, but keep it simple. Of course, some policy choices have become awfully convoluted, too. But, even so, people need to pay attention, or we all lose eventually.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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