• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Study: Reps and Dems both ignore facts

Binary_Digit

DP Veteran
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
4,215
Reaction score
1,702
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
http://www.livescience.com/othernews/060124_political_decisions.html

Democrats and Republicans alike are adept at making decisions without letting the facts get in the way, a new study shows.
And they get quite a rush from ignoring information that's contrary to their point of view.
Researchers asked staunch party members from both sides to evaluate information that threatened their preferred candidate prior to the 2004 Presidential election. The subjects' brains were monitored while they pondered.
The results were announced today.
"We did not see any increased activation of the parts of the brain normally engaged during reasoning," said Drew Westen, director of clinical psychology at Emory University. "What we saw instead was a network of emotion circuits lighting up, including circuits hypothesized to be involved in regulating emotion, and circuits known to be involved in resolving conflicts."

Bias on both sides

The test subjects on both sides of the political aisle reached totally biased conclusions by ignoring information that could not rationally be discounted, Westen and his colleagues say.
Then, with their minds made up, brain activity ceased in the areas that deal with negative emotions such as disgust. But activity spiked in the circuits involved in reward, a response similar to what addicts experience when they get a fix, Westen explained.


The study points to a total lack of reason in political decision-making.


"None of the circuits involved in conscious reasoning were particularly engaged," Westen said. "Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want, and then they get massively reinforced for it, with the elimination of negative emotional states and activation of positive ones."
I guess the idea that people are biased is nothing new, but I thought it was particularly interesting how the brain rewards people for making conclusions that their emotions agree with, no matter how irrational those conclusions are. I always knew partisans and drug addicts had a few things in common...



 

Stinger

DP Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
15,097
Reaction score
537
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
Binary_Digit said:
http://www.livescience.com/othernews/060124_political_decisions.html



I guess the idea that people are biased is nothing new, but I thought it was particularly interesting how the brain rewards people for making conclusions that their emotions agree with, no matter how irrational those conclusions are. I always knew partisans and drug addicts had a few things in common...



I just hope these "researchers" were not operating on a government grant, else we have another example of government waste.
 

Engimo

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 19, 2005
Messages
1,042
Reaction score
0
Location
New York
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Stinger said:
I just hope these "researchers" were not operating on a government grant, else we have another example of government waste.
This seems like an entirely legitimate bit of scientific research to me. I mean, this is showing a neurological reason for partisan hack-ery. Perhaps one day we could come up with a cure for it - I suggest we test it on Bill O'Reilly first.
 
Top Bottom