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Thread: Why Are Conservatives More Susceptible to Believing Lies?

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    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    Why Are Conservatives More Susceptible to Believing Lies?

    An interplay between how all humans think and how conservatives tend to act might actually explain a lot about our current moment.

    If “truth” is judged on the basis of Enlightenment ideas of reason and more or less objective “evidence,” many of the substantive positions common on the right seem to border on delusional. The left is certainly not immune to credulity (most commonly about the safety of vaccines, GMO foods, and fracking), but the right seems to specialize in it. “Misinformation is currently predominantly a pathology of the right,” concluded a team of scholars from the Harvard Kennedy School and Northeastern University at a February 2017 conference. A BuzzFeed analysis found that three main hyperconservative Facebook pages were roughly twice as likely as three leading ultraliberal Facebook pages to publish fake or misleading information.
    To understand how these differences manifest and what we might do about them, it helps to understand how all humans reason and rationalize: In other words, let’s take a detour into psychology. Freud distinguished between “errors” on the one hand, “illusions” and “delusions” on the other. Errors, he argued, simply reflect lack of knowledge or poor logic; Aristotle’s belief that vermin form out of dung was an error. But illusions and delusions are based on conscious or unconscious wishes; Columbus’s belief that he had found a new route to the Indies was a delusion based on his wish that he had done so.

    Although Freud is out of favor with many contemporary psychologists, modern cognitive psychology suggests that he was on the right track. The tenacity of many of the right’s beliefs in the face of evidence, rational arguments, and common sense suggest that these beliefs are not merely alternate interpretations of facts but are instead illusions rooted in unconscious wishes.
    When conservatives realize they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.

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    I'd love to do a neurological study determining the impact of id driven propaganda affects on conservatives verses liberals. Conservatives seem to be driven more by id related attacks.

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    Though conservatives may be more susceptible to believing lies, liberals are more susceptible to folk psychology-based rationales for political tendencies rather than material ones.

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    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Though conservatives may be more susceptible to believing lies, liberals are more susceptible to folk psychology-based rationales for political tendencies rather than material ones.
    What the hell does that even mean?
    When conservatives realize they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.

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    Contributor PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Though conservatives may be more susceptible to believing lies, liberals are more susceptible to folk psychology-based rationales for political tendencies rather than material ones.
    What the hell does that even mean?
    It means we've had threads and articles like these, called "Why Conservatives are More Susceptible to Confirmation Bias, By Noted Harvard Psychologist" for years, and it does nothing except give liberals a sense of mental superiority while distracting them from material conditions (society's mode of production and the interaction between those who control it and those who don't) as a driving factor of political differences. It reinforces the idea that political problems can be solved by addressing the outlook of people who have different views than you, by fixing some mental defect of theirs, rather than by changing the structure of society that is responsible for their attitudes. That's in the extreme, of course, and not all articles in this category totally ignore social causes. But most people just read the headlines and think haha dumb conservatives and their gullible brains, I am very smart

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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Though conservatives may be more susceptible to believing lies, liberals are more susceptible to folk psychology-based rationales for political tendencies rather than material ones.
    What the hell does that even mean?
    It means we've had threads and articles like these, called "Why Conservatives are More Susceptible to Confirmation Bias, By Noted Harvard Psychologist" for years, and it does nothing except give liberals a sense of mental superiority while distracting them from material conditions (society's mode of production and the interaction between those who control it and those who don't) as a driving factor of political differences. It reinforces the idea that political problems can be solved by addressing the outlook of people who have different views than you, by fixing some mental defect of theirs, rather than by changing the structure of society that is responsible for their attitudes. That's in the extreme, of course, and not all articles in this category totally ignore social causes. But most people just read the headlines and think haha dumb conservatives and their gullible brains, I am very smart
    I think you're completely missing the point. I guess that's ironic in a way.

    This research jives very well with the conclusions in The Authoritarians which was specifically about the authoritarian, predominantly right wing mindset. Data is data.

    The above goes into explaining (or trying to) why we see what we see. The simple fact of the matter is, though, that the right wing authoritarian mindset is explicitly resistant to change based on observation or data. The fact that there are so many of these type of people in just about every type of society indicates that it's probably at least partially inherent in human psychology, which is at least partially heritable.

    You can show people even on the smarter end of the authoritarian spectrum (like Loren here) actual data that shows their position is incorrect, and they won't change their mindset. And there are left leaning authoritarians that are more rare, but exhibit much of the same characteristics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    It means we've had threads and articles like these, called "Why Conservatives are More Susceptible to Confirmation Bias, By Noted Harvard Psychologist" for years, and it does nothing except give liberals a sense of mental superiority while distracting them from material conditions (society's mode of production and the interaction between those who control it and those who don't) as a driving factor of political differences. It reinforces the idea that political problems can be solved by addressing the outlook of people who have different views than you, by fixing some mental defect of theirs, rather than by changing the structure of society that is responsible for their attitudes. That's in the extreme, of course, and not all articles in this category totally ignore social causes. But most people just read the headlines and think haha dumb conservatives and their gullible brains, I am very smart
    Not every thread has to be about solving problems.

    So what is it about the structure of society that is responsible for conservative/authoritarian attitudes?

    It doesn't matter if the thread might be used for partisan quibbling by some, the question's about an observable difference and wondering "why?" about that difference is reasonable.

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    Here are some easy & obvious observations about the Conservative movement, at least as it has developed (mutated) since the early 60s:
    > an aggressive and surly denunciation of the news media -- I think even Eisenhower indulged in this, appearing at the '64 Convention and making a slighting reference to reporters, which had the conventioneers snarling in agreement and glaring at the press. Then came decades of "exposes" of press bias, culminating in the gas-filled rhetoric of Trump. Result? A solid voting bloc who do not understand the slightest thing about the importance of a free press and how it operates, who accept this lunatic epithet of "enemy of the people" as a sober diagnosis, and who can then be led by pure propaganda.
    > the alliance of the GOP with the ultra-religious, which by the late 70s was in overdrive. This leads to craziness in any movement and a denial of modern science whenever science points to inconvenient truths. It leads to an entire panel of GOP presidential primary contenders denying any 'belief' in evolution (I think this was in the '12 season, but it could've been in any GOP primary season in the last quarter century.) It leads to Bush 43 pontificating that intelligent design should be in the schools, because we should "teach both sides of the controversy." It leads to the obnoxious statement made by Limbaugh, Delay, and probably a herd of other hard righties that there's no need to be concerned about climate change, because God will not allow man to destroy His creation.
    > the absolute hatred of adverse scientific research by the GOP's donor class when that research challenges a business model, whether it's second hand smoke or carbon emissions (or, as addressed by Trump in the first few days of his reign, dumping mining waste into rivers. Guess which side Trump took?) The Brothers Koch have poured a mint into the climate change denial movement. Notice how the scientists who publish data on climate derangement are characterized by the right as socialists or even Chinese schemers (again, our President.)
    > Social media, which has created a new, heated environment and made things crazier than GOP think tanks and politicos ever intended. In this extra-hot setting, all kinds of scurrilous microbes, spores, and pathogens can take off at a moment's notice. And of course we now have a chief exec with a brain full of garbage who is shrewd enough to repost all kinds of rumors and preposterous conspiracies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Though conservatives may be more susceptible to believing lies, liberals are more susceptible to folk psychology-based rationales for political tendencies rather than material ones.
    What the hell does that even mean?
    It means we've had threads and articles like these, called "Why Conservatives are More Susceptible to Confirmation Bias, By Noted Harvard Psychologist" for years, and it does nothing except give liberals a sense of mental superiority while distracting them from material conditions (society's mode of production and the interaction between those who control it and those who don't) as a driving factor of political differences.
    Last time I checked, the conservatives citizens are currently in lockstep with one of the least conservative Republicans in US History. The moral crusaders stand with the immoral fuckwad who ran a fake school. The fiscal conservatives support the $1 trillion annual deficits. The warhawks are supporting his cut and run Syria plan. This is unusual.

    It reinforces the idea that political problems can be solved by addressing the outlook of people who have different views than you, by fixing some mental defect of theirs, rather than by changing the structure of society that is responsible for their attitudes. That's in the extreme, of course, and not all articles in this category totally ignore social causes. But most people just read the headlines and think haha dumb conservatives and their gullible brains, I am very smart
    Previous neurological studies indicate that people are susceptible to partisan bias when it comes to facts that are inconvenient politically. They have even indicated why the brain decides to internally spin the truth and give a dopamine hit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    It means we've had threads and articles like these, called "Why Conservatives are More Susceptible to Confirmation Bias, By Noted Harvard Psychologist" for years, and it does nothing except give liberals a sense of mental superiority while distracting them from material conditions (society's mode of production and the interaction between those who control it and those who don't) as a driving factor of political differences. It reinforces the idea that political problems can be solved by addressing the outlook of people who have different views than you, by fixing some mental defect of theirs, rather than by changing the structure of society that is responsible for their attitudes. That's in the extreme, of course, and not all articles in this category totally ignore social causes. But most people just read the headlines and think haha dumb conservatives and their gullible brains, I am very smart
    Not every thread has to be about solving problems.

    All threads have to attack Capitalism and promote Communism, or PyramidHead isn't gonna be happy.

    When the only things you have are a hammer and sickle, everything looks like class warfare.

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