Scientists prove that politics wrecks your ability to reason

Makalakumu

Gonzo Karate Apocalypse
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
13,887
Reaction score
232
Location
Hawaii
http://www.salon.com/2013/09/17/the...er/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

Kahan conducted some ingenious experiments about the impact of political passion on peoples ability to think clearly. His conclusion, in Mooneys words: partisanship can even undermine our very basic reasoning skills. [People] who are otherwise very good at math may totally flunk a problem that they would otherwise probably be able to solve, simply because giving the right answer goes against their political beliefs.

In Kahans experiment, some people were asked to interpret a table of numbers about whether a skin cream reduced rashes, and some people were asked to interpret a different table containing the same numbers about whether a law banning private citizens from carrying concealed handguns reduced crime. Kahan found that when the numbers in the table conflicted with peoples positions on gun control, they couldnt do the math right, though they could when the subject was skin cream. The bleakest finding was that the more advanced that peoples math skills were, the more likely it was that their political views, whether liberal or conservative, made them less able to solve the math problem.

So, apparently politics gives you brain damage. Who needs rats and Room 101? 2+2=5 Winston Smith!

Anyway, do you think this article applies to you?
 
OP
Makalakumu

Makalakumu

Gonzo Karate Apocalypse
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
13,887
Reaction score
232
Location
Hawaii

Unfortunately, yes. There have been quite a few times where I've had the blinders on and have not been willing to even consider counter arguments. Here is what I'm wondering, if you give up strong positions, does that bring back some of the rational capacities in your brain? Or are the changes permanent? I would like to be a person who could change his mind more easily...but how does society view that? Flip flopping? I don't know, it's not all bad up in my head either. I've actually had some rather significant changes in beliefs in my life. I suspect there will be more.
 
Top