Generation Brexit

The Death of Experts

Jonas Birk
Jonas Birk | Dec 7, 2017 | in Are the people fit to rule?

Nichols sheds light on people’s inclination to hold strong views on political dilemmas, despite being ill-informed or misinformed. One example is the observed correlation between how strong a respondent’s opinions were, and how ill-informed (ignorant) he or she was. The main thesis of Nichols’ article is that this problem is further exacerbated by a general loss of faith in expertise, where individuals assert their autonomy by dismissing the advice/opinion of an expert. In particular, this is a problem due the fact that a professional scientist/researcher will ensure the accuracy and quality of his/her work, while attempting to make the information and findings as unbiased as possible. When voters to an increasing extent rely on non-expert sources for their information, they will tend to seek information that reinforces their existing opinions (confirmation bias) (Nichols 2017).

This is, indeed, a threat to democracy as informed voters are a pillar of an effective democracy; and ignorance poses a serious threat to the quality of decision-making in a democratic society, i.e. people “cannot exercise their sovereignty responsibly and effectively” (Nichols 2017).

Kristina Griffin Mar 12, 2018

Do you think the UK parliament can be called a ‘democracy’ in the state that they have led us into with BREXIT?

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