Personal information reduces the credibility of studies, whereas empathy steps up
Private information while networking or maintaining relationships in the office may be a good idea when it comes to establish closeness and openness. It is irrelevant, though, when delivered by scients.
On the contrary: Launching private aspects while presenting new research insights is of no good for their credibility. The public labels this sort of self-disclosure as a contradiction to case oriented expertise and trusts these results less than more, says a recent analysis from Munich universities.
The authors point also to the risk of receiving undesirable reactions by web users when scientists publish private information – particularly if the research is dealing with controversial issues.
Altenmüller/Kampschulte/Verbeek/Gollwitzer, “Science Communication Gets Personal: Ambivalent Effects of Self-Disclosure in Science Communication on Trust in Science, in: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. 2023, Vol. 29, Nr. 4, 793 – 812.
From the practise:
And still there are ways how you can gain acceptance for your scientific results and their relevance respectively by means of rhetoric when encountering lay people. The key to success lies due to my own experiences in the opposite of the topic the Munich study: instead of trying to get sort of familiarity with listeners by ways of private information researchers should put themselves in the position of their audiences – the wording, the argumentation, specific examples and potential consequences of the new insights pave the way to the hearts and the trust of non-experts. Empathy is the magic word.