Quasi-Statistics and Antivaxxers

People who are against the use of vaccines erroneously think they are protecting their children. They also use a specific way to look at statistics. To explain the problem, we shall use the example of a measles outbreak.
Suppose we have a school with 100 vaccinated children and 10 unvaccinated children. 4 of the vaccinated children get measles and 2 of the unvaccinated children also get measles. Most people would say that 4/100 (4%) of the vaccinated children got sick and 2/4 (50%) of the unvaccinated children got sick. We can therefore conclude that a higher percentage of unvaccinated children got the measles and the vaccine provided a strong measure of protection. However, using quasi-statistics, the anti-vaccine believers can simply say that twice as many vaccinated children (4) as unvaccinated children (2) got sick and therefore the vaccine doesn’t work.

Which simply means that people who don't believe in the efficacy of vaccines cannot perform simple mathematics either.

This problem can also be psychological: humans strive for internal consistency. How can you believe something what cannot possibly be true and stay sound of mind. You simply cannot and therefore a psychiatrist might consider labeling your problem 'cognitive dissonance'[1].

[1] The Skeptics Dictionary: cognitive dissonance. See here.

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