How politics makes us stupid – Vox. Worth a full read – summarises an important literature on why information provision alone will not cause people to change their minds on issues they feel deeply about.
[Dan] Kahan calls this theory Identity-Protective Cognition: “As a way of avoiding dissonance and estrangement from valued groups, individuals subconsciously resist factual information that threatens their defining values.” Elsewhere, he puts it even more pithily: “What we believe about the facts,” he writes, “tells us who we are.” And the most important psychological imperative most of us have in a given day is protecting our idea of who we are, and our relationships with the people we trust and love.
More on Dan Kahan.
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