Sunday, July 24, 2011

Yale Study: You can't confuse conservatives with the facts

by Dan Sweeney, City Link Magazine

"A new study out of Yale University confirms what argumentative liberals have long-known: Offering reality-based rebuttals to conservative lies only makes conservatives cling to those lies even harder." 

In essence, a fact-based rebuttal  makes conservatives even more rigid in their thinking. 

Rightardia agrees. it is a waste of time to argue with most conservatives. Many conservatives have strong emotional components to their thinking. When confronted with a refutation to their ideas, it makes them believe the misinformation even moreso.

Yale Political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler conducted the study. 

Nyhan and Reifler did not see the same "backfire effect" when liberals were given misinformation and a refutation about the Bush administration's stance on stem cell research.

Liberals are more likely to have brains that have a larger anterior cingulate cortex while conservatives have larger amygdalas. The amygdala is associated with the limbic system and emotion. The primary role of the amygdala is the processing and memory of emotional reactions.

The anterior cingulate is associated with rational cognitive functions, such as reward anticipation, decision-making, empathy and emotion.

The limbic system is one of the more primitive parts of the brain. It has a central role in memory, learning, emotion, neuroendocrine function, and autonomic activities

Prior research has suggested that conservatives are more sensitive to threat or anxiety in the face of uncertainty, while liberals tend to be more open to new experiences.


The Temporal lobe and Limbic System, John R. Hesselink, MD, FACR


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