Study Shows Why Some People Can’t Wake Up

Truthstream Media -

Ever wondered why some people who seem otherwise educated on all other fronts appear hopelessly trapped in the left-right paradigm?

leftrightparadigmYale law professor Dan Kahan put together a study which essentially found that people were less likely to choose a mathematically correct answer if it went against their political beliefs. To boil it down, groups were given fake data about skin cream efficacy and asked to solve a math problem. When the same exact data was given in the context of gun control, intelligent people gave wildly different answers based on their political beliefs instead of reality.

In other words, liberals and conservatives alike openly allowed politics to skew their own basic capacity for reasoning.

Grist explains:

“If the wrong answer is contrary to their ideological positions, we hypothesize that that is going to create the incentive to scrutinize that information and figure out another way to understand it,” says Kahan. In other words, more numerate people perform better when identifying study results that support their views — but may have a big blind spot when it comes to identifying results that undermine those views.

What’s happening when highly numerate liberals and conservatives actually get it wrong? Either they’re intuiting an incorrect answer that is politically convenient and feels right to them, leading them to inquire no further — or else they’re stopping to calculate the correct answer, but then refusing to accept it and coming up with some elaborate reason why 1 + 1 doesn’t equal 2 in this particular instance.


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