Technique #2: Incoherence

What is

Incoherence occurs when someone uses two or more arguments to make a point that cannot logically all be true at once. It’s a technique most commonly seen in longer discussions about a particular (usually very polarizing) topic.

How to be sure
it’s Incoherence

Everyday Examples

One thing that we know for sure is that nothing is ever true or false.

The stock market is completely unpredictable. We’re barrelling towards a stock market crash of epic proportions.

There’s no such thing as “scientific consensus”, the issue is still actively debated in the scientific community. Only a few brave scientists dare go against the grain. They’re our heroes, and they should be celebrated.

Study under review - coming soon

Project Description

Truth Labs for Education is a collaboration between Cambridge University, the University of Bristol, and Google Jigsaw. We created a series of short videos designed to help people resist unwanted persuasion online. The videos are rooted in a framework from social psychology called inoculation theory, which posits that by exposing people to a weakened dose of a persuasive argument or technique and pre-emptively refuting it, they develop psychological resistance against future manipulative persuasion attempts.

We created 5 videos, each of which “inoculates” people against a particular manipulation technique or misleading rhetorical device commonly encountered online: ad hominem attacks, using emotional language to evoke fear or outrage, false dichotomies, incoherence, and scapegoating.