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SalfordPsych Believe It Or Not?

At the Manchester Science Festival this year, we joined the #CitizenScience Showcase and Library of Fake news at MediaCityUK, to run a mock ‘Believe it or not?’ psychology investigation, to show how data might be collected to address the question ‘why do people believe the ideas that they come across in daily life?’.

We’re also interested in how beneficial science festivals are, and particularly whether they promote a ‘growth mindset’. To examine this, we used a number of questionnaires that participants completed both before and after the task.

For the task, we presented people with small pieces of evidence, such as videos or screenshots of bits of articles, before asking them whether they would believe in a psychological myth related to the evidence, and why they would, or wouldn’t, believe it. Feedback was provided in the form of the scientific consensus on the topic.

We believe that transparency is important, and that everyone should have the opportunity to judge the evidence for themselves. As such, we’re providing links here to evidence that was used to determine the scientific consensus on the topics we covered. We’ve tried to ensure that some easily accessible information is included for each topic, but unfortunately, some of the sources may not be accessible without cost.


Would you believe that…

Carrots help you see in the dark?


Vaccines cause autism?

The brains of males and females are physically the same?


Swearing can have beneficial effects?

Working as a politician has less of a psychological impact than other jobs?

Drinking water cures a hangover?

You only use 10% of your brain?

Alcohol makes you less inhibited?

We are attracted to people who are our opposites?

Venting your frustrations will only make you angrier?

Criminal profiling is considered a science?




We hope that you enjoyed our little demo, and if you have any feedback or questions we’d love to hear from you.

You can contact us on:

Twitter: @SalfordPsych


Address: L826 Allerton Building, University of Salford, Salford, M6 6PU.