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Why we belive what we want to believe.

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Julie Beck, The Atlantic, March 13, 2017: This Article Won’t Change Your Mind

    "The facts on why facts alone can’t fight false beliefs"

    Julie Beck delves into a subject we have discussed many times in this website. She covers the views of many accomplished cognitive scientists on why we believe what we want to believe. From cognitive dissonance to motivated reasoning to willful ignorance to lies to false knowledge to fake news to group think to tribal identities, she addresses the problems and roots of our polarization, and why it will be so difficult to extricate ourselves from our tribal identities. I'll extract one short paragraph:

    "So much of how people view the world has nothing to do with facts. That doesn’t mean truth is doomed, or even that people can’t change their minds. But what all this does seem to suggest is that, no matter how strong the evidence is, there’s little chance of it changing someone’s mind if they really don’t want to believe what it says. They have to change their own."

    As much as the media has written about Donald Trump and his seemingly incompetence, some 88 percent of Republicans still support him. And when push comes to shove, Trumpcare in some form will pass Congress...unless people start changing their views on how Trumpcare might personally affect their own lives.

    I watched the Chris Hayes/Bernie Sanders Town Hall last night from a rural county in West Virginia. I think that it had some effect on the Trump supporters in the audience...they are starting to think critically. It's a start.

  • Independent
    Washington
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    Yes, they have to change their own minds. One of the biggest mistakes I see is when the person\group who does have a good understanding of facts\reality, their lead off line is akin to saying: "You're completely wrong, and let me explain why your so stupid..". Everything said after that is perceived as an attack and\or condescending. Sometimes very smart people are very clueless as to how to communicate with others outside of their peer group, which allows individuals like trump to step in and connect with a mass audience; he maybe talking BS in terms of facts, but communicates to them in terms they are able to understand so his BS is perceived to be factual.

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    We cannot help people who live in the alternate reality that is the Republican party. They have permitted themselves to be brainwashed . They are not salvageable. They should be ignored as children incapable of behaving as a responsible adult.

    The people we need to reach are the non voters. Disinterested people who sit by and do nothing. People who refuse to participate. They are the reason the alternate reality people have been able to get control of our country. They have to be woken up. There must be an issue they care about.

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    The counter balance should be the media. In all forms. Where are strong editorial influences ? We need an unbiased "respected" media to fact check and aggressively report. Uh, could you start immediately ?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Maindawg and TJ both of you are right. But the more I see of the Republican mentality the more I'm convinced that you never will be able to convinced them, that for instance Fox news is the wrong channel to look at. Let alone the difference between "facts" and "fiction". Furthermore "cause" and "effect"; "action" and "reaction". As well have learned to read "body language" or behavior patterns as well "analytic thinking". The analytic thinking is kind of forbidden by the "church" and army". Personally I think all these things likely were never taught at school here; basket ball/football/baseball are much more important than those subjects. Just "obey" and behave like "robots" is the motto.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    TJ Wrote: The counter balance should be the media. In all forms. Where are strong editorial influences ? We need an unbiased "respected" media to fact check and aggressively report. Uh, could you start immediately ?

    Strong editorial influences and unbiased media don't mesh because a strong editorial influence is typically biased in one way or another.

    We also need to understand the difference between media outlets like Fox "News", CNN, and MSNBC and print journalism.

    Cable "news" shows need to fill airtime 24/7, which inexorably leads to watching the same talking heads talk about the same thing for hours at a time. And many times these channels at least act like they are trying to not be partisan by having a round table with two conservatives and two liberals who just wind up talking over each other.

    Print journalism is the exact opposite, although they have become a bit more "breaking news" style in an attempt to adapt to the new digital age. If you want an aggressively fact checked article that has been signed off on by multiple editors before being printed then I print is the way to go. Most major newspapers now have online subscriptions that are very reasonably priced. I belong to all of the major ones, including right leaning papers like the Wall Street Journal because I do think it's important to get a general understanding of what smart Republicans are thinking.

    I've actually stopped watching 24/7 "news" channels because I have grown fed up with them. If I have the desire to watch people endlessly screaming at each other then I'll just head to the nearest homeless encampment in Portland.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote: As much as the media has written about Donald Trump and his seemingly incompetence, some 88 percent of Republicans still support him. And when push comes to shove, Trumpcare in some form will pass Congress...unless people start changing their views on how Trumpcare might personally affect their own lives.

    It's very hard to argue with her thesis. Group think mentality makes it very difficult to change someones mind. I liken it to the gay rights debate. Gay people used to stay in the closet at much higher percentages, which led many anti-gay marriage people to think that they don't know any gay people. Once more and more people started coming out then we saw a monumental shift in how people viewed gay marriage. (I understand I am being overly general here and that many things happened in our eventual embrace of gay marriage, but it's hard to not put two and two together.)

    The same thing will likely happen with Trumpcare. Those who will be hurt the most by Trumpcare are his very own supporters. That's just what I have a hard time wrapping my head around, but like you said, people will believe what they want to believe regardless of the facts.

    Schmidt Wrote: I watched the Chris Hayes/Bernie Sanders Town Hall last night from a rural county in West Virginia. I think that it had some effect on the Trump supporters in the audience...they are starting to think critically. It's a start.

    I hope so. I understand many of these voters never want to believe that the person they voted for simply used them to get elected. It would be so hard to be able to admit that to yourself.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    He views his against all odds victory as a spiritual mandate.
  • Independent
    Washington
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    Maindawg Wrote:

    We cannot help people who live in the alternate reality that is the Republican party. They have permitted themselves to be brainwashed . They are not salvageable. They should be ignored as children incapable of behaving as a responsible adult.

    The people we need to reach are the non voters. Disinterested people who sit by and do nothing. People who refuse to participate. They are the reason the alternate reality people have been able to get control of our country. They have to be woken up. There must be an issue they care about.

    I can't take that post seriously. My BS software is rating it over 90%.

  • Democrat
    Julian, CA
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    It won't matter how many laws Trump breaks, how much corruption his is involved in, how many lies he tells or how much human suffering he causes because the Republicans in the U.S. Congress will not impeach him because they are as corrupt as he is.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    progressiveconnie Wrote: It won't matter how many laws Trump breaks, how much corruption his is involved in, how many lies he tells or how much human suffering he causes because the Republicans in the U.S. Congress will not impeach him because they are as corrupt as he is.
    AMEN
  • Independent
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Julie Beck, The Atlantic, March 13, 2017: This Article Won’t Change Your Mind

    "The facts on why facts alone can’t fight false beliefs"

    Julie Beck delves into a subject we have discussed many times in this website. She covers the views of many accomplished cognitive scientists on why we believe what we want to believe. From cognitive dissonance to motivated reasoning to willful ignorance to lies to false knowledge to fake news to group think to tribal identities, she addresses the problems and roots of our polarization, and why it will be so difficult to extricate ourselves from our tribal identities. I'll extract one short paragraph:

    "So much of how people view the world has nothing to do with facts. That doesn’t mean truth is doomed, or even that people can’t change their minds. But what all this does seem to suggest is that, no matter how strong the evidence is, there’s little chance of it changing someone’s mind if they really don’t want to believe what it says. They have to change their own."

    As much as the media has written about Donald Trump and his seemingly incompetence, some 88 percent of Republicans still support him. And when push comes to shove, Trumpcare in some form will pass Congress...unless people start changing their views on how Trumpcare might personally affect their own lives.

    I watched the Chris Hayes/Bernie Sanders Town Hall last night from a rural county in West Virginia. I think that it had some effect on the Trump supporters in the audience...they are starting to think critically. It's a start.

    Agreed. However it is interesting to note that it is possible to reinforce existing positions via agitprop or to take someone who holds a position weakly or is neutral on an issue and move them in a direction you wish. The best examples are nazi Germany and the USSR. Hell even this country was able to do it during the founding. Those who hold rigid views likely will not change unless they have a relevatory moment. Sadly the existence of anti-social media has made it much harder to change those who might change.
  • Democrat
    Julian, CA
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    The reason America is no longer a Republic is because most of the American people refuse to vote or be involved in that Republic for two generations and the result is this country is now an Oligarchy and has become one of the most corrupt governments in human history.