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4dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:22 PM
Original message
Study Demonstrates How We Support Our False Beliefs
In a study published in the most recent issue of the journal Sociological Inquiry, sociologists from four major research institutions focus on one of the most curious aspects of the 2004 presidential election: the strength and resilience of the belief among many Americans that Saddam Hussein was linked to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Although this belief influenced the 2004 election, they claim it did not result from pro-Bush propaganda, but from an urgent need by many Americans to seek justification for a war already in progress.

"We form emotional attachments that get wrapped up in our personal identity and sense of morality, irrespective of the facts of the matter. The problem is that this notion of 'motivated reasoning' has only been supported with experimental results in artificial settings. We decided it was time to see if it held up when you talk to actual voters in their homes, workplaces, restaurants, offices and other deliberative settings."


http://www.buffalo.edu/news/10364

Simply amazing that most people have lost that curious intellect needed to partake in daily adult discussions..
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. "I hate people who torture dogs and cats. My, isn't this veal delicious?"
:eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes:
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. OR...lets elect a guy President who never had a real job and tortured small animals as a child
and who organized groups of children to participate in his psychotic Narcissism, putting fire crackers up the butts of frogs and blowing them up.. and what did he do when he grew up..
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. He helped to break America. I guess in his circle that's an accomplishment.
"Now let's pray for moral guidance as we support Senator Grasshatley fight against healthcare reform."

The cognitive dissonance is astounding.
:crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
2. Everyone needs to read this
The way lur brains work is we think we are logical and everyone else is a dummy that does not follow logic. In fact, it is only half right. Everyone does not use logic and neither do we.
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. The idea offends me
That my logic escapes others or is open to question , except when I allow that something is simply a matter of opinion or that I will not defend my position.
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
3. Actually, this struck me as sadly humorous
Co-author Steven Hoffman, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of sociology at the University at Buffalo, says, "Our data shows substantial support for a cognitive theory known as 'motivated reasoning,' which suggests that rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe.

"In fact," he says, "for the most part people completely ignore contrary information.

"The study demonstrates voters' ability to develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information," he explains.


Yes, too many are lazy and look for that which will justify their beliefs, which are too often based on what they want to be so. But I find the research conclusion is doing the same thing. Letting the propagandists off the hook by dismissing the power of what they do to spread dis-information. What hogwash! If disinformation, propaganda did not contribute greatly to the shaping of beliefs, there would not be so much resource spent on it.

I view the conclusions arrived at by this 'study' as further evidence that propaganda works, and too often lifts the onus off those who would mislead the masses for their own gain. Sorry, I won't accept that human nature alone is responsible for the horrors of the past several years. I will not let cheney/bush and those who are responsible for them off the hook so easily.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. May I submit that you are a textbook example of what is being talked about by the researchers?
We all agree that what Bushco did was wrong and should be punished. Take that as a given and look at the implications of this research.


People do not change their minds. They change the evidence in their minds.

In my business I see it every day. It is real and denying it does not make this effect go away.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #10
19. The constant drumbeat of propaganda is what caused their original misinformed opinions.
This study just shows how effective propaganda is.
Yes, once people form an opinion, they will later rationalize it.
But this study seems to ignore how those opinions were originally formed.
The opinions were originally formed based on a constant drumbeat of propaganda by Fox News and Clear Channel.
If the study is really saying that this had no effect in forming people's opinions, it's a wrong conclusion.

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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #10
21. Since what you know of me is only what you read me post, you can submit all you want
at your own peril.
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. 100% agree with you
I don't think it's any secret to any of us that intellectually lazy people will look for new or different answers to justify what they believe while the intellectually dishonest help them find those new answers - hell, look at the birthers!

Fox Propaganda + Osmosis = Disinformed & Incurious Americans

Yes, too many are lazy and look for that which will justify their beliefs, which are too often based on what they want to be so. But I find the research conclusion is doing the same thing. Letting the propagandists off the hook by dismissing the power of what they do to spread dis-information. What hogwash! If disinformation, propaganda did not contribute greatly to the shaping of beliefs, there would not be so much resource spent on it.

I view the conclusions arrived at by this 'study' as further evidence that propaganda works, and too often lifts the onus off those who would mislead the masses for their own gain. Sorry, I won't accept that human nature alone is responsible for the horrors of the past several years. I will not let cheney/bush and those who are responsible for them off the hook so easily.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #11
20. Absolutely correct, see post #18
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 03:41 PM by bananas
The study just shows how effective the propaganda was.
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. Another phrase;
'Self-propagating perspective'.

Once an opinion is formed, it is like a small gravity well that attracts only information that adds to its mass. This sort of selective cognition lends the subject a way of 'being' right without having to do the work of verification. This is the place where cognition and behavior begin to intertwine. The opinion becomes intertwined in the ego... the subject's very identity becomes dependent on the infallibility of his or her belief. They will reject contradicting information out of hand as though it threatens their very existence.

This goes beyond mere insecurity, and shows us how dependent identity can be upon the world without.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
4. People With Autism Make More Rational Decisions, Study Shows
ScienceDaily (Oct. 15, 2008) People with autism-related disorders are less likely to make irrational decisions, and are less influenced by gut instincts, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust. The study adds to the growing body of research implicating altered emotional processing in autism.

Decision-making is a complex process, involving both intuition and analysis: analysis involves computation and more "rational" thought, but is slower; intuition, by contrast, is much faster, but less accurate, relying on heuristics, or "gut instincts".

<snip>

"People with autism tended to be more consistent in their pattern of choices, their greater attention to detail perhaps helping them avoid being swayed by their emotions," says Dr Neil Harrison.

<snip> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/0810151102...
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. People with autism don't bother me.
People with autism tend to know they have autism.

Political conformists bug me. People who make policy and belief statements they have never questioned the basis for in any serious or objective way. People who wrap their identity in a set of positions which basically amount to a high school notion of "being cool".
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. it still does not negate that Bu$h and his Fascist Crony's knowingly lied us in a needless war and
is directly responsible for at least 1/2 million over a million people.. and the 2000 tons of Depleted Uranium, a deadly heavy metal poison
http://nourishedmagazine.com.au/blog/articles/uranium-m...

"snip...The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta declares that 33% of the babies born this year will be diabetic by the year 2050. Dr. Alan Cantwell...

...Type two diabetes, which is fundamentally due to nutritional deficiencies (especially a lack of magnesium) colliding head on with a host of chemical poisons and heavy metals, is also being triggered by the heavy metal toxicity and radioactivity of uranium oxide and other radioactive isotopes that are circulating widely in the environment. Unfortunately, exposure levels are increasing dramatically with each ton of vaporized depleted uranium but that is not stopping the American and British governments from manufacturing, selling and using depleted uranium weaponry....

...Depleted (DU) uranium is highly toxic to humans, both chemically as a heavy metal and radiological as an alpha particle emitter, is very dangerous when taken internally, writes Dr. Rosalie Bertell, Canadian Epidemiologist.i A new study, conducted by biochemist Dr. Diane Stearns at Northern Arizona University confirms that, separate from any radiation risks, cells exposed to uranium will bond with the metal chemically.ii Uranium and phosphate have a strong chemical affinity for each other and the DNA and Mitochondria are loaded with phosphate so uranium is a DNA and Mitochondria deep penetration bomb. The uranium is attacking on fundamental cellular levels while mercury offers a knock out punch by attacking the sulfur bonds besides being highly toxic to nerve cells. Its totally crucial to medical practice in the 21st century to understand this convergence of toxicities. We can now clearly see what is being attacked and who are mortal enemies are...

...Uranium oxide particles are DNA time bombs. Because of the affinity of a phosphate in human DNA towards uranium, these particles destroy the DNA so the disastrous effects of depleted uranium wont be limited to only one generation...snip"

http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/a/132.html

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080822175...

....it isn't the Radiation Stupid.! its the HEAVY METAL POISONING..!!


THERE ARE SERIOUSLY DISTURBING PHOTOS IN THIS ARTICLE IF YOU SCROLL BELOW
====="The pictures below, which are extremely disturbing, show exactly what does"===
MORE ATROCITIES BUSH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BESAUSE OF HIS DELIBERATE LIES
http://www.xs4all.nl/~stgvisie/VISIE/extremedeformities...
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
7. Mark Twain: Corn-pone Opinions
Mark Twain: Corn-pone Opinions

FIFTY YEARS AGO, when I was a boy of fifteen and helping to inhabit a Missourian village on the banks of the Mississippi, I had a friend whose society was very dear to me because I was forbidden by my mother to partake of it. He was a gay and impudent and satirical and delightful young black man -a slave -who daily preached sermons from the top of his master's woodpile, with me for sole audience. He imitated the pulpit style of the several clergymen of the village, and did it well, and with fine passion and energy. To me he was a wonder. I believed he was the greatest orator in the United States and would some day be heard from. But it did not happen; in the distribution of rewards he was overlooked. It is the way, in this world.

He interrupted his preaching, now and then, to saw a stick of wood; but the sawing was a pretense -he did it with his mouth; exactly imitating the sound the bucksaw makes in shrieking its way through the wood. But it served its purpose; it kept his master from coming out to see how the work was getting along. I listened to the sermons from the open window of a lumber room at the back of the house. One of his texts was this:

"You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is."

I can never forget it. It was deeply impressed upon me. By my mother. Not upon my memory, but elsewhere. She had slipped in upon me while I was absorbed and not watching. The black philosopher's idea was that a man is not independent, and cannot afford views which might interfere with his bread and butter. If he would prosper, he must train with the majority; in matters of large moment, like politics and religion, he must think and feel with the bulk of his neighbors, or suffer damage in his social standing and in his business prosperities. He must restrict himself to corn-pone opinions -- at least on the surface. He must get his opinions from other people; he must reason out none for himself; he must have no first-hand views.

I think Jerry was right, in the main, but I think he did not go far enough.

1. It was his idea that a man conforms to the majority view of his locality by calculation and intention. This happens, but I think it is not the rule.

2. It was his idea that there is such a thing as a first-hand opinion; an original opinion; an opinion which is coldly reasoned out in a man's head, by a searching analysis of the facts involved, with the heart unconsulted, and the jury room closed against outside influences. It may be that such an opinion has been born somewhere, at some time or other, but I suppose it got away before they could catch it and stuff it and put it in the museum.

I am persuaded that a coldly-thought-out and independent verdict upon a fashion in clothes, or manners, or literature, or politics, or religion, or any other matter that is projected into the field of our notice and interest, is a most rare thing -- if it has indeed ever existed.

A new thing in costume appears -- the flaring hoopskirt, for example -- and the passers-by are shocked, and the irreverent laugh. Six months later everybody is reconciled; the fashion has established itself; it is admired, now, and no one laughs. Public opinion resented it before, public opinion accepts it now, and is happy in it. Why? Was the resentment reasoned out? Was the acceptance reasoned out? No. The instinct that moves to conformity did the work. It is our nature to conform; it is a force which not many can successfully resist. What is its seat? The inborn requirement of self-approval. We all have to bow to that; there are no exceptions. Even the woman who refuses from first to last to wear the hoop skirt comes under that law and is its slave; she could not wear the skirt and have her own approval; and that she must have, she cannot help herself. But as a rule our self-approval has its source in but one place and not elsewhere -- the approval of other people. A person of vast consequences can introduce any kind of novelty in dress and the general world will presently adopt it -- moved to do it, in the first place, by the natural instinct to passively yield to that vague something recognized as authority, and in the second place by the human instinct to train with the multitude and have its approval. An empress introduced the hoopskirt, and we know the result. A nobody introduced the bloomer, and we know the result. If Eve should come again, in her ripe renown, and reintroduce her quaint styles -- well, we know what would happen. And we should be cruelly embarrassed, along at first.

The hoopskirt runs its course and disappears. Nobody reasons about it. One woman abandons the fashion; her neighbor notices this and follows her lead; this influences the next woman; and so on and so on, and presently the skirt has vanished out of the world, no one knows how nor why, nor cares, for that matter. It will come again, by and by and in due course will go again.

Twenty-five years ago, in England, six or eight wine glasses stood grouped by each person's plate at a dinner party, and they were used, not left idle and empty; to-day there are but three or four in the group, and the average guest sparingly uses about two of them. We have not adopted this new fashion yet, but we shall do it presently. We shall not think it out; we shall merely conform, and let it go at that. We get our notions and habits and opinions from outside influences; we do not have to study them out.

Our table manners, and company manners, and street manners change from time to time, but the changes are not reasoned out; we merely notice and conform. We are creatures of outside influences; as a rule we do not think, we only imitate. We cannot invent standards that will stick; what we mistake for standards are only fashions, and perishable. We may continue to admire them, but we drop the use of them. We notice this in literature. Shakespeare is a standard, and fifty years ago we used to write tragedies which we couldn't tell from -- from somebody else's; but we don't do it any more, now. Our prose standard, three quarters of a century ago, was ornate and diffuse; some authority or other changed it in the direction of compactness and simplicity, and conformity followed, without argument. The historical novel starts up suddenly, and sweeps the land. Everybody writes one, and the nation is glad. We had historical novels before; but nobody read them, and the rest of us conformed -- without reasoning it out. We are conforming in the other way, now, because it is another case of everybody.

The outside influences are always pouring in upon us, and we are always obeying their orders and accepting their verdicts. The Smiths like the new play; the Joneses go to see it, and they copy the Smith verdict. Morals, religions, politics, get their following from surrounding influences and atmospheres, almost entirely; not from study, not from thinking. A man must and will have his own approval first of all, in each and every moment and circumstance of his life -- even if he must repent of a self-approved act the moment after its commission, in order to get his self-approval again: but, speaking in general terms, a man's self-approval in the large concerns of life has its source in the approval of the peoples about him, and not in a searching personal examination of the matter. Mohammedans are Mohammedans because they are born and reared among that sect, not because they have thought it out and can furnish sound reasons for being Mohammedans; we know why Catholics are Catholics; why Presbyterians are Presbyterians; why Baptists are Baptists; why Mormons are Mormons; why thieves are thieves; why monarchists are monarchists; why Republicans are Republicans and Democrats, Democrats. We know it is a matter of association and sympathy, not reasoning and examination; that hardly a man in the world has an opinion upon morals, politics, or religion which he got otherwise than through his associations and sympathies. Broadly speaking, there are none but corn-pone opinions. And broadly speaking, corn-pone stands for self-approval. Self-approval is acquired mainly from the approval of other people. The result is conformity. Sometimes conformity has a sordid business interest -- the bread-and-butter interest -- but not in most cases, I think. I think that in the majority of cases it is unconscious and not calculated; that it is born of the human being's natural yearning to stand well with his fellows and have their inspiring approval and praise -- a yearning which is commonly so strong and so insistent that it cannot be effectually resisted, and must have its way. A political emergency brings out the corn-pone opinion in fine force in its two chief varieties -- the pocketbook variety, which has its origin in self-interest, and the bigger variety, the sentimental variety -- the one which can't bear to be outside the pale; can't bear to be in disfavor; can't endure the averted face and the cold shoulder; wants to stand well with his friends, wants to be smiled upon, wants to be welcome, wants to hear the precious words, "He's on the right track!" Uttered, perhaps by an ass, but still an ass of high degree, an ass whose approval is gold and diamonds to a smaller ass, and confers glory and honor and happiness, and membership in the herd. For these gauds many a man will dump his life-long principles into the street, and his conscience along with them. We have seen it happen. In some millions of instances.

Men think they think upon great political questions, and they do; but they think with their party, not independently; they read its literature, but not that of the other side; they arrive at convictions, but they are drawn from a partial view of the matter in hand and are of no particular value. They swarm with their party, they feel with their party, they are happy in their party's approval; and where the party leads they will follow, whether for right and honor, or through blood and dirt and a mush of mutilated morals.

In our late canvass half of the nation passionately believed that in silver lay salvation, the other half as passionately believed that that way lay destruction. Do you believe that a tenth part of the people, on either side, had any rational excuse for having an opinion about the matter at all? I studied that mighty question to the bottom -- came out empty. Half of our people passionately believe in high tariff, the other half believe otherwise. Does this mean study and examination, or only feeling? The latter, I think. I have deeply studied that question, too -- and didn't arrive. We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking. And out of it we get an aggregation which we consider a boon. Its name is Public Opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it the Voice of God.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Thank you for this.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. It's one of my favorite essays of all time and it arrives at most of the same
conclusions as the study in the OP.

i find that kind of amazing in a way, since it was penned well over 100 years ago.

I think it's important that we all realize just how susceptible to corn pone opinions we all are as humans. I doubt we can escape them completely, but perhaps we can at least moderate them if we are conscious of the processes.

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LisaLynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
13. I think that's something most of us have gathered, but ...
this in no way lets Bush Co off the hook because they were the ones that put the belief in people in the beginning -- they were the ones who came out and started talking about Iraq and Hussein after 9/11. People wouldn't have come to believe that without them so really, all this study speaks to on that subject, IMHO, is that once people had adopted the belief -- because Bush et al led them to believe it -- it was hard to get them to see that it had all been a lie.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
17. K&R
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
18. There's an obvious problem with this study
The methodology is described in physorg:
The study team employed a technique called "challenge interviews" on a sample of voters who reported believing in a link between Saddam and 9/11. The researchers presented the available evidence of the link, along with the evidence that there was no link, and then pushed respondents to justify their opinion on the matter. For all but one respondent, the overwhelming evidence that there was no link left no impact on their arguments in support of the link.

In other words, they took people who were hypnotized and brainwashed by Fox News and Clear Channel into believing something that wasn't true. The fact that these people still believed it just shows how effective the hypnosis and brainwashing was. Their conclusion that the constant drumbeat of propaganda had no effect is completely unjustified.

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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Thank you
You make my point much better than I managed.
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