The Art of Being Wrong

Justin D. Henderson, PhD
9 min readJan 22, 2022

It takes great skill to be wrong well.

“No, no, no, I don’t believe it,” Rogan continued. “That people who catch COVID when they’re young have a higher risk of myocarditis than people who get the vaccine have a higher risk of myocarditis.”

In a recent podcast episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan’s guest was Australian media personality Josh Szeps. The two began discussing the Pfizer vaccine and Rogan elaborated on a belief he had that the vaccine is potentially dangerous to boys and young men.

Specifically, he voiced concern that the vaccine was producing a concerning rate of myocarditis, an inflammation in the tissues of the heart. He presumably was referring to an article in The Guardian making such claims based on a study that used data from Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The VAERS has come under considerable scientific scrutiny given the nature of its self-report that leads to bias in the data gathered.

Later, the British Journal of Medicine would rebuke for reporting on unreliable data. But this did not appear to have swayed Rogan’s position.

This is not a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to Rogan’s journey through the pandemic. Early in the pandemic, Rogan had a wider curiosity and had creditable guests on his show. In episode 1439, he had Dr. Michael Osterholm, one of the world's foremost experts in infectious diseases, on his show. The pandemic was just gearing up and we all had more questions than answers. He laid out a now eerie prediction of what was to come. It was a fascinating conversation that clarified many things for me in the early days of the pandemic.

At that time people were disinfecting their groceries and Dr. Osterholm quietly but persistently told Rogan that this virus spreads through the air, not on surfaces. Personally, I found this conversation very informative of the true tragedy that had befallen the world.

Fast forward to 2022 and over 300 podcasts later, Rogan has since divorced himself from most of the creditable science on the topic. And, as a common psychological process, he started developing a greater bias toward disconfirming…

Justin D. Henderson, PhD

Dr. Justin D. Henderson is a psychologist, professor of counseling, and organizational consultant. He’s a Medium Top Writer in Leadership and Business.