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(4,368 posts)
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 05:10 PM Oct 2017

How to Deprogram Truth-Denying Trump Voters

A short, and most interesting (and hopefully helpful) article:

How did Donald Trump win, when he used so many misleading statements and outright deceptions? Couldn’t people see through them? As an expert in brain science, I want to share why his followers fell for his lies and what can be done to address this situation in the future.


... The Trump campaign did so through the illusory truth effect, a thinking error in our minds that happens when false statements are repeated many times and we begin to see them as true. In other words, just because something is stated several times, we perceive it as more accurate.


Why should the human brain be structured so that mere repetition, without any more evidence, causes us to believe a claim more strongly? The more often we are exposed to a statement, the more comfortable it seems. The fundamental error most people make is mistaking statements that make them feel comfortable for true statements.

Our brains cause us to believe something is true because we feel it is true, regardless of the evidence—a phenomenon known as emotional reasoning. This strange phenomenon can be easily explained by understanding some basic biology behind how our brain works.

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(2,325 posts)
1. By contrast
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 05:14 PM
Oct 2017

Can those of us who know those statements are false lose our minds when we keep hearing these statements purveyed as fact?


(17,235 posts)
2. I don't believe electroshock therapy will help deprogram drumpf voters.
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 05:18 PM
Oct 2017

They seem to love "the art of the lie".



(47,209 posts)
3. Well, he's always used the repeat three times "trick"... I'm blaming he media for glossing over the
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 05:25 PM
Oct 2017

Many many lies he told for a good year before they used anything stronger than "misspoke" to describe- in the third or fourth paragraph. His untruths were headlines and still are sometimes.


(1,660 posts)
4. This reprogramming has been going on since 1971
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 05:25 PM
Oct 2017

Ever since big business woke up to the opportunity for social programming pointed out by the Powell Memo.

45 years of brainwashing will take at least another 45 years to undo - 45 years after a supportive legislative environment is created.

Until that happens, all you can do is grind away at the edges with lots of counterbalancing emotional messages.



(642 posts)
5. It's Always Been That Way
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 05:28 PM
Oct 2017

People have always been driven by emotions, not reason. Reason is just a veneer slapped onto the id of human nature. In fact reason is primarily used to justify decisions that we make based on how we feel about things.


(14,510 posts)
6. Good article, thanks Pluvious. Some thoughts...
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 05:56 PM
Oct 2017

Rupert Murdoch (News Corp./Fox) and talk radio owners have known this psychology for many decades and have used it very effectively. A normal, mentally healthy and well-educated populace would have discredited their dogma from the beginning and they would not have survived. They also use additional tools such as sex appeal, sensationalism and consumerism to maintain an audience.

Our primitive brain succumbs to repetition and all the while our modern brain tries to fight that with facts, logic and reason. Makes for a discomforting, unconscious, continuous internal mental battle. Those of us on the "truth" side feel the pain. Those who are in the right-wing bubble are quite comfortable because they are not exposed to counter-facts, logic and reason.

If we could get all Congress critters that took Norquist's anti-tax pledge to take a Pro-Truth Pledge referenced in that article (and be faithful to it), we might have a functioning government again.

See: https://www.protruthpledge.org/

I am a dreamer, LOL.


(4,368 posts)
10. Have you seen "How Fox Brainwashed My Dad?"
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 07:02 PM
Oct 2017

Glad you got something out of the article KY

I wrestle with my self control at each and every "in-laws" event, when overwhelmed by the willfully ignorant winger blather. It's hard, I've struggled with fighting it, and regaining peace of mind, at every encounter.



(14,510 posts)
12. "regaining peace of mind" is a daily challenge.
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 07:27 PM
Oct 2017

Thanks for reminding me of that documentary. I followed her story for a while, when the film was till in development - but forgot it. I don't have streaming video and have low internet bandwidth, so I'm going to order it on DVD (it's linked to Amazon for $25). I can also watch it at a friend's house on one of the streaming services.

For those not aware of it, see: http://www.thebrainwashingofmydad.com/

Sadly, I don't even go "home" to TN anymore, as it's a sea of blood-red bullshit. I've lost contact with all of my 1965 classmates because of that dilemma. It's sickening and un-American the way they've divided us. So, I feel your pain!


Awsi Dooger

(14,565 posts)
8. Republicans will post anything and believe anything...whatever makes them feel good
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 06:25 PM
Oct 2017

While liberals reject fake news because they won't take the bait.

Those segments are later in the article.

No kidding. And that's it in a nutshell. Extremely difficult to combat because it revolves around basic intelligence and instincts, but if you correctly argue it that way you lose points.

I don't mind the "Pro-Truth Pledge," which is apparently the goal of the study although buried at the end of the piece. That slogan is strong and memorable enough to stick but it needs to be pushed everywhere, and soon.


(1,148 posts)
9. I think we have a social responsibility...
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 06:35 PM
Oct 2017

to teach critical thinking to people on the internet.

These Trump followers go on and on about the "deep state" and the "globalists". People I am acquainted with listen to Alex Jones as if he is reporting the "truth". We must make more of an effort to debunk the conspiracy mongers. I don't think Trump truly believes most of this stuff, but he panders to it.

They've never been exposed to stuff like skepticism or concepts like debunking. Apparently they are not even aware of what the Enlightenment was about.

I'm trying to focus my social media presence on supporting people who take on Trump's credulous followers. For example, there is this great Twitter personality https://twitter.com/TakeThatDarwin named Take That Darwin. Lately this person has been re-tweeting scary people who "argue" that Trump was ordained by "God" to be President.

It will do no good to just hang out in friendly, supportive atmospheres. We have an opportunity to promote reason in social media and should put more effort into it.


(14,510 posts)
16. Wow, that guy has his hands full - just from doing a quick look.
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 08:52 PM
Oct 2017

Thanks for the link and your good thoughts and efforts.

I believe our best bet for reversing this trend is in our schools. We need a new generation that thinks for themselves for a change - using logic, reason and truth. Re-emphasis on science, the arts, and math is a start, along with (somehow) a renewed interest in civics, government and history. Old-fashioned debate classes would be good, too.

Keep up the good work - one nut case at a time!


(111,111 posts)
13. I would guess that a few indictments might sharpen their focus a little...
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 07:29 PM
Oct 2017

It will be a slow process.


(20,831 posts)
14. There's a giant billboard in CT on I95 with this image crossed out:
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 07:37 PM
Oct 2017

and it reads something like, "In the beginning, god created man"...

because they're evolution deniers. If they make the billboard big enough, they feel justified in their defiance of society.

People gain a sense of identity and community from the opposition of society norms. If they were just another person going along with the crowd, they feel they aren't real or really there or important. The contradiction makes them feel they matter.

You'll always have some cookes. The problem is, the rest of us have to show up to out-vote them.


(30,613 posts)
15. We all heard Turd's lies endlessly; most people weren't fooled.
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 07:40 PM
Oct 2017

Turd voters are actually mentally defective. They can't be fixed; the best we can do is shun, isolate, and demoralize them so their disease is quarantined.


(4,368 posts)
17. I also like how shaming them can...
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 09:28 PM
Oct 2017

... Also be effective, like pointing out the lessons of Jesus from the New Testament heh.


(2,404 posts)
19. I went to trumpgrets yesterday
Sun Oct 29, 2017, 10:52 PM
Oct 2017

because they're fun and satisfying to read, and one of the latest tweets is from a woman who is made about the grab-em-by-the-feline video. But what caught my eye is that she says she "just saw" it. Is she kidding? These people never watch real news; they just sit and soak up the Fox slime. They are so uninformed and so gullible it's scary.

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