Friday, November 11, 2011


Some folks are pander-ready. Their belief systems make them easy marks for panderers. Those who habitually accept dogma without benefit of fact-based logical reasoning are easily led astray by pandering politicians who appeal to emotion (fear, anger) or to authority (God, Bible) while eschewing facts and logic.

Everyone is subject to confirmation bias, a natural tendency to accept assertions in accord with preconceived notions while dismissing contrary information. Confirmation bias is especially rampant among the political right. There is a reason the Religious Right is a significant political faction, while the religious left is not. There is a reason scientists are far more liberal than voters as a whole. There is a reason conservatives are quick to blame problems on one out-group or another, rather than their own choices at the polls. There is a reason that right-leaning viewers have made Fox News the most profitable cable network news outlet. More so than liberals those on the political right prefer confirmation to troubling and confusing facts that contradict their biases.

Confirmation Bias

Panderbear makes a point of reading scientific studies documenting personality differences between political liberals and conservatives. Liberals are more comfortable with ambiguity than conservatives who prefer more black-and-white certainty. Unfortunately, the world is too complex for bumper-sticker politics. Conservatives have a higher tolerance for inequity than liberals. This allows them to rationalize inequality as the fault of the less fortunate, to blame the victim. While Panderbear experiences fear and anger, prefers simplicity to complexity, and is not immune to confirmation bias, he thinks rational thought informed by verified facts is a sounder basis for public policy than either religion or emotion.

submit to reddit Share on Tumblr

No comments:

Post a Comment