Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Twirling The Cognitive Kaleidoscope

Dennis York asked us to all take a deep breath a couple of weeks ago. It's that time again. Go ahead, breathe deeply. Now, let it out slowly.

The good folks at the Department of Clinical Psychology at Emory University tell us that our minds are made up already, that Owen can't change our mind any more than Xoff or E'ville Alder Fred can. Facts be damned, we know what we want and we'll do what we can to get it.

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."

The study shows that, in the face of facts that challenge our political beliefs we stick fingers in our ears and make humming noises. This is why the unknown can so often slide under the radar. If we haven't made our minds up we can be open to accepting the unknown.

In politics it may be, "Better the devil you don't know," than the other way around. This study means that all Charlie Sykes is doing, all the puffery of McBride and the bluster of Xoff, my stick-poking and Peter's name calling are just ways of showing off for the herd.


elliot said...

You're surprised by this how?

Of course those guys aren't trying to persuade...

...they're arguing.

And if you're in an argument, you've already lost. Because arguments don't persuade people to change their opinion they motivate them to defend it.

Of course, I don't expect you to buy any of that. ;)

Mason B. said...

Unless of course you are arguing against a second party for a decision from a third party.

Don't you just love the individuals with the courage to say "I cannot make an opinion on that issue because I do not have enough information!" Wow you don't hear that too much.

Anonymous said...

Are you guys just dumb or playing STUPID?? None of this makes any sense and if you have ANY clout, WHERE is all that $25,000 for a puny skate park? That so-called $5000 the so-called club was raising should have been turned over to the city a LONG time ago. I could have fastened something to resemble that for $25,000. Padding someone's pockets somewhere along the line. Fred needs to brought up to speed about alot of things. He's reaching way too high before other things get finished.