Friday, August 28, 2009

How and Why We Support Our False Beliefs

clipped from
data shows substantial support for a cognitive theory known as 'motivated
reasoning,' which suggests that rather than search rationally for information
that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek
out information that confirms what they already believe.

"In fact," he says, "for the most part people completely ignore contrary information.

"We form emotional attachments that get wrapped up in our personal identity and
sense of morality, irrespective of the facts of the matter.
One of the most curious "false beliefs" of the 2004 presidential election, they
say, was a strong and resilient belief among many Americans that Saddam Hussein
was linked to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
"This misperception that Hussein was responsible for the Twin Tower terrorist
attacks was very persistent, despite all the evidence suggesting that no link
it helped citizens make sense of the Bush Administration's decision to go to war
against Iraq.
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1 comment:

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