Do politics make us irrational? – Jay Van Bavel

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“2013. A team of researchers. Nheld a math. Test the.

Exam was administered nto over over 1100. American adults and designed in part to test. Ntheir ability to evaluate sets data hidden among these math problems nwere. Two almost identical questions.

Both problems nused. The same difficult data. Set and each had one objectively ncorrect. Answer.

The first asked about the correlation..

Nbetween rashes and a new skin cream the second asked about the correlation nbetween crime rates and gun control legislation participants with strong math skills were much more likely nto get the first question correct. But despite being nmathematically identical the results for the second question nlooked totally different here math skills nweren t the best predictor of which participants answered correctly instead another variable the researchers nhad been tracking came into play political identity participants. Whose political beliefs aligned with a correct interpretation nof the data were far more likely nto answer the problem right even the study s top mathematicians were 45 more likely nto get the second question wrong when the correct answer nchallenged their political beliefs. What is it about politics.

That inspires nthis kind of illogical error can someone s political identity. Nactually affect their ability to process information. The answer lies in a cognitive phenomenon. That has become increasingly visible nin public life partisanship.

While it s often invoked nin. The context of politics partisanship is more broadly defined nas a strong preference or bias towards any particular group or idea our political ethnic religious nand national identities are all different forms of partisanship of course. Identifying with social groups is an essential and healthy part nof human life our sense of self is defined not only by nwho we are as individuals. But also by the groups we belong to as a result we re strongly motivated nto defend our group identities.

Protecting both our sense of self nand our social communities..

But this becomes a problem nwhen. The group s beliefs are at odds with reality. Imagine. Watching your favorite sports team ncommit.

A serious foul. You know that s against the rules. But your fellow fans nthink. It s totally acceptable.

The tension between nthese. Two incompatible thoughts. Is called cognitive. Dissonance.

And most people are driven to resolve nthis..

Uncomfortable. State of limbo. You might start to blame the referee ncomplain that the other team started it or even convince yourself nthere was no foul in the first place in a case like this people are often more motivated nto maintain a positive relationship with their group nthan perceive the world accurately this behavior nis especially dangerous in politics on an individual scale allegiance to a party allows people nto create a political identity and support policies. They agree with but partisan based cognitive dissonance.

Ncan lead people to reject evidence that s inconsistent with the party line nor discredits party leaders and when entire groups of people revise nthe facts in service of partisan beliefs. It can lead to policies nthat aren t grounded in truth. Or reason. This problem isn t new political identities nhave been around for centuries.

But studies show nthat partisan polarization has increased dramatically nin the last few decades one theory explaining this increase is the trend towards clustering ngeographically in like minded communities. Another is the growing tendency nto rely on partisan news or social media bubbles these often act like echo chambers delivering news and ideas nfrom people with similar views fortunately cognitive scientists nhave uncovered some strategies for resisting this distortion filter one is to remember that you re probably nmore biased than you think so when you encounter new information. Make a deliberate effort nto push through your initial intuition. And evaluate.

It analytically in your own groups try to make nfact..

Checking. And questioning assumptions. A valued part of the culture warning. People.

That they might have been npresented with misinformation can also help and when you re trying nto. Persuade someone else affirming their values nand framing. The issue in their language can help make people more receptive. We still have a long way to go before nsolving the problem of partisanship.

But hopefully these tools ncan help keep us better informed ” ..

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“Dig into the psychology of political partisanship, how to recognize it and what strategies can be used to combat it. nn–nnCan someone s political identity actually affect their ability to process information? The answer lies in a cognitive phenomenon known as partisanship. While identifying with social groups is an essential and healthy part of life, it can become a problem when the group s beliefs are at odds with reality. So how can we recognize and combat partisanship? Jay Van Bavel shares helpful strategies.nnLesson by Jay Van Bavel, directed by Patrick Smith.nnAnimator s website: http://www.blendfilms.comnSign up for our newsletter: us on Patreon: us on Facebook: us on Twitter: us on Instagram: full lesson: you so much to our patrons for your support! Without you this video would not be possible! Pavel Maksimov, Victoria Soler-Roig, Betsy Feathers, Samuel Barbas, Therapist Gus, Sai Krishna Koyoda, Elizabeth Parker, William Bravante, Irindany Sandoval, Mark wisdom, Brighteagle, Beatriz In cio, Mighterbump, Pamela Harrison, Maija Chapman, Liana Switzer, Curtis Light, The Brock, Dianne Palomar, Edgar Campos Barrachina, Maria Lerchbaumer, Ever Granada, Marin Kovachev, Ravi S. R mphal, Penelope Misquitta, Tekin G ltekin, Jhuval , Hans Peng, Gaurav Mathur, Erik Biemans, Tony, Michelle, Katie and Josh Pedretti, Vaibhav Mirjolkar, Thomas Bahrman, Allan Hayes, Aidan Forero, Uday Kishore, Mikhail Shkirev, Devesh Kumar, Sunny Patel, Anuj Tomar, Lowell Fleming, David Petrovi , Hoai Nam Tran, Stina Boberg, Alexandrina Danifeld, Kack-Kyun Kim, Travis Wehrman, haventfiguredout, Caitlin de Falco and Ken.”,

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