Science as a Vaccine

The Relation between Scientific Literacy and Unwarranted Beliefs
  • Angelo FasceEmail author
  • Alfonso Picó


In this study, we explore the relation between scientific literacy (knowledge about scientific theories, trust in science, and critical thinking) and unwarranted beliefs (pseudoscience, the paranormal and conspiracy theories). The results show heterogeneous interactions between six constructs: (1) conspiracy theories poorly interact with scientific literacy; (2) there are major differences between attitudinal and practical dimensions of critical thinking; (3) paranormal and pseudoscientific beliefs show similar associations (they are predicted by scientific knowledge and trust in science); and (4), only scientific knowledge interacts with other predictor of unwarranted beliefs, such as ontological confusions. These results reveal a limited impact: science educators must take into account the complex interactions between the dimensions of scientific literacy and different types of unwarranted beliefs to improve pedagogical strategies.


Scientific literacy Critical thinking Pseudoscience Conspiracy theories Paranormal Unwarranted beliefs 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there are no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Department of PsychobiologyUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain

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