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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Wed Dec 7, 2016, 10:42 AM

2. Lee Atwater knew this. Long ago.

"Need for cognition" is measured by assessing people's agreement with statements like, "I find satisfaction in deliberating hard and for long hours" or "thinking is not my idea of fun." A measurement of people's affinity for critical thinking, in short.

Jost reviewed 40 studies on differences in this need for cognition between liberals and conservatives. Of those, 25 showed a "significant, negative" association between need for cognition and right-wing orientation. In all but three of the others, there was a similar negative association but it wasn't statistically significant.

In other words, liberals were slightly more predisposed to think critically than conservatives. As Stefan Pfattheicher of Ulm University put it in an email to me, conservatives "are less reflective in information processing, especially when information is consistent with [their] own worldviews."

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