Thursday, December 8, 2016

Conservatives Are Not Dumb, They Just Aren't Wild About Reality

Good Day World!

The dumbing down of America didn't start in classrooms.

It started when conservative think tanks popped up in the last couple of decades to challenge inconvenient facts.

I've read numerous reports highlighting how fake news creators began targeting conservative readers after finding them receptive to stories that reinforced their existing worldview.

For example:

A fake news creator told NPR, "We've tried to do fake news with liberals. It just never worked, it never takes off. You'll be debunked within the first two comments and then the whole thing just kinds of fizzles out."

Still, while the apparent one-sidedness of the fake news ecosystem is striking, some researchers of partisan psychology say it's not particularly surprising. 

A robust body of academic research has sprung up in the past decade or so, documenting the different ways conservatives and liberals process the world.

Psychologist John Jost of New York University is one of the pioneering researchers in this realm.

In a forthcoming chapter of his upcoming book, Jost, and his colleagues analyzed decades of research on political psychology and found that a number of personality traits are strongly associated with conservatism.

It all boils down to critical thinking. 

Conservatives may be perfectly able to do the kind of cognitive exploration that would lead them to be more skeptical of nonsense and fake news - they just choose not to, preferring instead to seek out information that allows them to make quick decisions that reinforce their existing views.

That's how America is being dumbed down.

Unrealistic thinking. Millions have chosen to ignore reality and to replace it with fake news stories that project their own flawed world view.

Anyone with any sense has to challenge the flat earth philosophy of conservatives today at every turn in order to restore sanity to our society.

Related: Why Conservatives Might Be More Likely To Fall For Fake News Stories

Time for me to walk on down the road...

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