Unbiased Title About Conservatives

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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, schooling conservatives makes them more stupid. From the Washington Post article on the study, which came out yesterday:
Political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler provided two groups of volunteers with the Bush administration's prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. One group was given a refutation -- the comprehensive 2004 Duelfer report that concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction before the United States invaded in 2003.

Thirty-four percent of conservatives told only about the Bush administration's claims thought Iraq had hidden or destroyed its weapons before the U.S. invasion, but 64 percent of conservatives who heard both claim and refutation thought that Iraq really did have the weapons. The refutation, in other words, made the misinformation worse. A similar "backfire effect" also influenced conservatives told about Bush administration assertions that tax cuts increase federal revenue. One group was offered a refutation by prominent economists that included current and former Bush administration officials. About 35 percent of conservatives told about the Bush claim believed it; 67 percent of those provided with both assertion and refutation believed that tax cuts increase revenue.

In a paper approaching publication, Nyhan, a PhD student at Duke University, and Reifler, at Georgia State University, suggest that Republicans might be especially prone to the backfire effect because conservatives may have more rigid views than liberals: Upon hearing a refutation, conservatives might "argue back" against the refutation in their minds, thereby strengthening their belief in the misinformation. 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.
If you've ever gotten in an argument with your conservative friends (assuming you haven't offered each other a mutual Carville-Matalin-style political ceasefire to preserve the friendship), you've probably seen this "backfire effect" in action. The more you try to tell people that Sarah Palin is lying when she says she was against the Bridge to Nowhere, the more they believe she was telling the truth. The more you try to explain how similar McCain's policies are to Bush's, the more they maintain he's "the original maverick."

The typical mantra of the left is that we don't need to sink to the Republicans' level because we have the truth on our side. But if the other side is utterly immune to the truth -- and indeed, the truth only makes them dig deeper into their fantasy world in which the economy is fundamentally strong and the War in Iraq is a staggering success -- what's a leftie to do?

I ain't got the answers, ace, except to say this: When arguing with conservatives in front of on-the-fence independents, remember that you're not trying to convince the conservative to actually buy into silly notions like facts and reason. You're highlighting the differences between left and right for the outside observer. If the other guy insists on political views that belong only in Disney World's Fantasyland, other folks will realize what's happening.
But if there is no third party, do yourself a favor and save your breath. As the study demonstrates, you're only making matters worse. Consider that aforementioned ceasefire. It is football season, after all. There's plenty of other things to argue about. Go Mizzou!
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-sweeney/theres-no-arguing-with-co_b_126805.html

The author of this thread has no opinion on the matter, because anything said will automatically be labeled as liberal bias. Including what I just said. And this. And this.

Edit: I've been reminded that the huffington post is the huffington post, so here's the washington post link:

Have you seen the photo of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin brandishing a rifle while wearing a U.S. flag bikini? Have you read the e-mail saying Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama was sworn into the U.S. Senate with his hand placed on the Koran? Both are fabricated -- and are among the hottest pieces of misinformation in circulation.


As the presidential campaign heats up, intense efforts are underway to debunk rumors and misinformation. Nearly all these efforts rest on the assumption that good information is the antidote to misinformation.


But a series of new experiments show that misinformation can exercise a ghostly influence on people's minds after it has been debunked -- even among people who recognize it as misinformation. In some cases, correcting misinformation serves to increase the power of bad information.


In experiments conducted by political scientist John Bullock at Yale University, volunteers were given various items of political misinformation from real life. One group of volunteers was shown a transcript of an ad created by NARAL Pro-Choice America that accused John G. Roberts Jr., President Bush's nominee to the Supreme Court at the time, of "supporting violent fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber."


A variety of psychological experiments have shown that political misinformation primarily works by feeding into people's preexisting views. People who did not like Roberts to begin with, then, ought to have been most receptive to the damaging allegation, and this is exactly what Bullock found. Democrats were far more likely than Republicans to disapprove of Roberts after hearing the allegation.


Bullock then showed volunteers a refutation of the ad by abortion-rights supporters. He also told the volunteers that the advocacy group had withdrawn the ad. Although 56 percent of Democrats had originally disapproved of Roberts before hearing the misinformation, 80 percent of Democrats disapproved of the Supreme Court nominee afterward. Upon hearing the refutation, Democratic disapproval of Roberts dropped only to 72 percent.


Republican disapproval of Roberts rose after hearing the misinformation but vanished upon hearing the correct information.



The damaging charge, in other words, continued to have an effect even after it was debunked among precisely those people predisposed to buy the bad information in the first place.


Bullock found a similar effect when it came to misinformation about abuses at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.



Volunteers were shown a Newsweek report that suggested a Koran had been flushed down a toilet, followed by a retraction by the magazine. Where 56 percent of Democrats had disapproved of detainee treatment before they were misinformed about the Koran incident, 78 percent disapproved afterward. Upon hearing the refutation, Democratic disapproval dropped back only to 68 percent -- showing that misinformation continued to affect the attitudes of Democrats even after they knew the information was false.


Bullock and others have also shown that some refutations can strengthen misinformation, especially among conservatives.


Political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler provided two groups of volunteers with the Bush administration's prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. One group was given a refutation -- the comprehensive 2004 Duelfer report that concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction before the United States invaded in 2003. Thirty-four percent of conservatives told only about the Bush administration's claims thought Iraq had hidden or destroyed its weapons before the U.S. invasion, but 64 percent of conservatives who heard both claim and refutation thought that Iraq really did have the weapons. The refutation, in other words, made the misinformation worse.


A similar "backfire effect" also influenced conservatives told about Bush administration assertions that tax cuts increase federal revenue. One group was offered a refutation by prominent economists that included current and former Bush administration officials. About 35 percent of conservatives told about the Bush claim believed it; 67 percent of those provided with both assertion and refutation believed that tax cuts increase revenue.
In a paper approaching publication, Nyhan, a PhD student at Duke University, and Reifler, at Georgia State University, suggest that Republicans might be especially prone to the backfire effect because conservatives may have more rigid views than liberals:



Upon hearing a refutation, conservatives might "argue back" against the refutation in their minds, thereby strengthening their belief in the misinformation. 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.


Bullock, Nyhan and Reifler are all Democrats.


Reifler questioned attempts to debunk rumors and misinformation on the campaign trail, especially among conservatives: "Sarah Palin says she was against the Bridge to Nowhere," he said, referring to the pork-barrel project Palin once supported before she reversed herself. "Sending those corrections to committed Republicans is not going to be effective, and they in fact may come to believe even more strongly that she was always against the Bridge to Nowhere."
Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/14/AR2008091402375_pf.html
 
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sadly, emotion > logic. You can't think logically if you're being influenced by strong emotions. And fear is more powerful than any other. Basically, the human drive to avoid pain (notably death) is stronger than any other drive or logic. If you can convince someone who's not prepared that they're in imminent danger of dying, then they'll do basically whatever you want.
 
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The Washington post didn't list how many people were used in the experiment or how many times it was performed, which leads me to believe it was a small group and a quick trial. I'm not sure I buy into the numbers specifically but I do agree with the general conclusion to the article. If you live for order and consistency you are going to get defensive when someone tries to take away a piece of knowledge you've acquired, or to attack your moral foundation.
 
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I'm going to go out on a limb and say that truth that people don't like will work both ways. Conservative or Liberal . . .

Because he most certainly didn't have sexual relations with that woman :p

In all seriousness, I think generalizations are bad, and ones that label people strictly conservative or liberal are so much more so.

There isn't much black or white, but a whole lot of grey.
 
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I disagree with you. I think that people go out of their way to make it black and white, and there is very little room for grey in our society. We enforce it of ourselves, and push each other into those categories to where it becomes valid to generalize. I think it's a fault in our society but it's a very real one.
 
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This is outrageous, and frankly disgusting. Unbiased my ass. This is as laughably obvious slander as an "unbiased" paper on why Jews and blacks are actually unsavory animals who deserve to die. It flatout refers to us as "stupid".

Lock this ****, and ban the OP; this is a clear violation of forum rules. I won't stand for even a second of this sort of libel.
 

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What rule is being violated, exactly?
 

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Didn't you hear, MC? Posting the results of a Yale study is against the rules.
 
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This is obvious baiting that WILL lead to a flame war. And I don't care who they are. If Harvard posts a thesis on why Asians are scientifically weird for having slanted eyes, you're just going to go along with it? What's next? How Mexicans are proveably dirty people?

Of course, the Democrats here go along with it because they will take anything they can get to one up the right wing regardless of what it is, which has been the case for over a decade, so none of them here are pointing out the inherent confrontational nature of this disinformation.

It's just as Michael Cricthon says: universities are no longer the bastions of independent thought they were once hailed as decades ago. They're just part of the politico-legal-media complex.
 

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J-Dude, you're proving the study right right now. I just want you to know that.

He posted a study done by Yale. He made no comment for or against the study. If everyone disagreed with it's results, we can all rag on it.
 

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J-Dude, explain why you feel that this study is biased.
 
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I'm not gonna say the studies biased, but the person who wrote the article obviously is.
 
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I'm not gonna say the studies biased, but the person who wrote the article obviously is.
Here here.

By my understanding, "stupid" is hardly a scientific term. I'm sick of this liberal-fueled bull****, making mockery of our beliefs. We are criticized and condemned for believing in things far greater than ourselves. And you cannot honestly tell me that this "article" would even have been made if not for the EXTREME media bias toward the liberal viewpoint.

I'm making something clear to the liberal people, here and now. We were here before you. We are still here. And we will be here when you are gone. And by my own understanding of what is prophesized to be, one day, I am sure you WILL be gone.
 
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I'm not gonna say the studies biased, but the person who wrote the article obviously is.
Which is why I posted the original article that the huffington post linked to. So, you know, read the original article if you don't want the slant.

@ J-Dude: Don't bring your self-righteous bull**** into my thread. This has nothing to do with religion.
 
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Conservatism stems FROM religion...You can't talk about one without bringing up the other. Thinking you can do otherwise at length is an illusion.
 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservatism#Psychological_Research

Psychologists have generally found that personality traits, individual difference variables, needs, and ideological beliefs seem to have a common thread. For instance, a meta-analysis by Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, and Sulloway in 2003 [25] analyzed 88 studies, from 12 countries, with over 22,000 subjects, and found that death anxiety, intolerance of ambiguity, lack of openness to experience, uncertainty avoidance, need for cognitive closure, need for personal structure, and threat of loss of position or self-esteem all contribute to the degree of one's overall political conservatism. The researchers suggest that these results show that political conservatives stress resistance to change and are motivated by needs that are aimed at reducing threat and uncertainty.
I'd be willing to argue that religious beliefs do, indeed, contribute to the above and the original post, but I'm sure you'd disagree despite pretty much stating this to be case.

And no, conservatism doesn't stem from religion:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conservatism

Or are you stating that all tradition is inherently religious in nature?
 
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The fault is on you, Zeo, for posting the biased article before the study. You might want to rearrange that in the first post, or remove the biased piece altogether.

On the other hand I find J-dude to be doing more trolling than critiquing in this thread so far. Liberal media bias from the huffington post does not represent liberal media bias from media at large. Furthermore if you review the Ted conference that Sub posted it has some explanations for why religion and authoritarian belief systems are so fundamental to conservatives and are not as important to liberals.
 
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Furthermore if you review the Ted conference that Sub posted it has some explanations for why religion and authoritarian belief systems are so fundamental to conservatives and are not as important to liberals.
Well I never saw THAT as a mystery...

You have people either born into believing, or who chose to believe something outside conventional logic for personal reasons, or you have the people who experience so little personal rationalization for such things that they either chock the whole notion up to primitive human fabrication or else simply feel they need a little more convincing.

As to the whole notion of conservatism being considered "fear of change", for me at least this isn't especially true. I like change, when it's taken in steady moderation, holds significant improvement to my, or others lives. Basically the kind of change I like is, to put it into computer terms an "update", an improvement to an already existing thing, or else a radical new way to do an existing thing. Not than I'm not open to new ideas, as long as they make sense to me.

The kind of change I fear and care about wanting to stop is the type that makes religious farts like myself look like the dumbest beasts ever to walk the Earth. I outright oppose the and want to stop the trend that makes religious people who've never done anything wrong look like they're somehow societal leeches, mainly because said religious farts don't like changes that we feel are morally bankrupt, particularly where religious texts are concerned.

I'll say this right now. I don't dislike all liberals. There are some liberal views that I think make sense. The main reason I consider myself conservative and Republican is mainly because I want to be on whatever side the majority of atheists aren't. And perhaps not the calm, "loss of faith" atheists who just mind their own business like civilized men ought to, but the hard core, no-better-than-any-RELIGIOUS-fundamentalist atheists who in an almost supervillain manner plot the total destruction of religion at any opportunity because they don't believe in consequences beyond death and therefore think our cautious nature is cramping their style-

Pardon me, I lost my train of thought a moment, but you get what I'm saying. I was properly terrified by the old 1930s novel "Brave New World", and while I can proudly say I don't think most religious people can be so easily converted by atheists, I still want us to do all in our power to keep us from changing "Lord" to the proverbial "Ford", so to speak. And Since there's an apparent division what with the media taking the atheist/liberal view and belittling us, I chose the side who is the butt of the abuse. That's why I'm a conservative republican. Do I fear change? It really depends on the change you're talking about, but really who isn't afraid of change? I can say with total certainty that a liberal will see eye to eye with a conservative on the issue of whether or not a petition to allow the collision of a 3 kilometer asteroid onto our country should be passed. The problem is, as I see it, said cataclysm is in plain sight for conservatives, and the liberals are looking wildly around saying "what asteroid?" while blindfolded and waltzing right into oncoming traffic.
 
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I was properly terrified by the old 1930s novel "Brave New World", and while I can proudly say I don't think most religious people can be so easily converted by atheists, I still want us to do all in our power to keep us from changing "Lord" to the proverbial "Ford", so to speak.
Atheists don't convert people. Life does.
 

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