Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This explains a lot about my family

David Brooks
Via the NY Times

Apparently a new study shows that presenting facts and truth to conservative voters makes them more likely to keep their original opinion...

From the Washington Post:

One group was given a refutation -- the comprehensive 2004 Duelfer report that concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction before the United States invaded in 2003. Thirty-four percent of conservatives told only about the Bush administration's claims thought Iraq had hidden or destroyed its weapons before the U.S. invasion, but 64 percent of conservatives who heard both claim and refutation thought that Iraq really did have the weapons. The refutation, in other words, made the misinformation worse.

[The study suggests] that Republicans might be especially prone to the backfire effect because conservatives may have more rigid views than liberals: Upon hearing a refutation, conservatives might "argue back" against the refutation in their minds, thereby strengthening their belief in the misinformation. [They] did not see the same "backfire effect" when liberals were given misinformation and a refutation about the Bush administration's stance on stem cell research.
How do you deal with people who will not listen to the truth to their own detriment? Tenacity is a virtue, but this is what my mother used to call, "Cutting off your nose, despite your face" and was always considered the sin of false pride. or as David Brooks referred to it the other day, as a compensation for their inadequacies by showing "brashness and excessive decisiveness."

(Imagine me agreeing with anything that David Brooks might say.... it must be a cold day in hell)

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