[ExI] Don't confuse me with the facts!
possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 28 22:48:17 UTC 2010
Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human
tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of
information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to
change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite.
Full article here:
And so in other words the war in Afghanistan will continue on and on,
despite the Wikileaks incident...
Oh, and there was that one trillion dollars worth of mineral wealth,
that I'm sure U.S. companies would like to get their hands on...
On 7/28/10, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human
> tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of
> information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to
> change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite.
> Full article here:
> In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University
> of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political
> partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they
> rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more
> strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing
> misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually
> make misinformation even stronger.
> “The general idea is that it’s absolutely threatening to admit you’re
> wrong,” says political scientist Brendan Nyhan, the lead researcher on
> the Michigan study. The phenomenon — known as “backfire” — is “a
> natural defense mechanism to avoid that cognitive dissonance.”
> And if you harbor the notion — popular on both sides of the aisle —
> that the solution is more education and a higher level of political
> sophistication in voters overall, well, that’s a start, but not the
> solution. A 2006 study by Charles Taber and Milton Lodge at Stony
> Brook University showed that politically sophisticated thinkers were
> even less open to new information than less sophisticated types. These
> people may be factually right about 90 percent of things, but their
> confidence makes it nearly impossible to correct the 10 percent on
> which they’re totally wrong.
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