Studies have shown that people tend to seek out information that is consistent with their views; think of liberal fans of MSNBC and conservative devotees of Fox News. Liberals and conservatives also tend to process the information that they receive with a bias toward their pre-existing opinions, accepting claims that are consistent with their point of view and rejecting those that are not. As a result, information that contradicts their prior attitudes or beliefs is often disregarded, especially if those beliefs are strongly held.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
The Myths Will Persist
Brendan Nyhan, political scientist and health policy researcher, in a New York Times op-ed makes some interesting points about the interminable debate about health care reform and the inability to achieve consensus: