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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind -The Atlantic


This Article Won’t Change Your Mind - The facts on why facts alone can’t fight false beliefs - The Atlantic JULIE BECK is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where she covers health and psychology.

From the article ... I have added emphasis here and there ...

The theory of cognitive dissonance—the extreme discomfort of simultaneously holding two thoughts that are in conflict—was developed by the social psychologist Leon Festinger in the 1950s. In a famous study, Festinger and his colleagues embedded themselves with a doomsday prophet named Dorothy Martin and her cult of followers who believed that spacemen called the Guardians were coming to collect them in flying saucers, to save them from a coming flood. Needless to say, no spacemen (and no flood) ever came, but Martin just kept revising her predictions. Sure, the spacemen didn’t show up today, but they were sure to come tomorrow, and so on. The researchers watched with fascination as the believers kept on believing, despite all the evidence that they were wrong.

“A man with a conviction is a hard man to change,” Festinger, Henry Riecken, and Stanley Schacter wrote in When Prophecy Fails, their 1957 book about this study. “Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point … Suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before.” ... 
Seems like the above is the nicest thing you can say about President Donald Trump and his alter ego ... Sean Spicer (what an ironic last name).
This doubling down in the face of conflicting evidence is a way of reducing the discomfort of dissonance, and is part of a set of behaviors known in the psychology literature as “motivated reasoning.” Motivated reasoning is how people convince themselves or remain convinced of what they want to believe—they seek out agreeable information and learn it more easily; and they avoid, ignore, devalue, forget, or argue against information that contradicts their beliefs. ...

Again anyone count how many times President Donald Trump has been described as doubling down! WOW!

The sad truth about President Donald Trump ... or is it a fact ... it is circular ... he believes himself!

What are the manifestations/consequences ...

And in modern America, one of the groups that people have most intensely hitched their identities to is their political party. Americans are more politically polarized than they’ve been in decades, possibly ever. There isn’t public-opinion data going back to the Federalists and the Democratic Republicans, of course. But political scientists Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal look at the polarization in Congress. And the most recent data shows that 2015 had the highest rates of polarization since 1879, the earliest year for which there’s data. And that was even before well, you know.

Party Polarization, 1879-2015

See the graph ...

There is more to the article ... a very good read!  After you finish it try this...

NPR: Invisibilia: Flip The Script > Dealing With Hostility, Anger, Confrontation - The Opposite

WI 1848 Forward: This Article Won’t Change Your Mind - The #Atlantic #TheAtlantic #Trump #Facts #Fiction Skepticism

WI 1848 Forward: Motivated Reasoning - Doubling Down when you are wrong! The #Atlantic #TheAtlantic #Trump #Facts

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