Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Facts don't crack cognitive dissonance

If democracy depends on an informed electorate, we're in deep trouble. I've often wondered why it's so impossible to get through to my conservative friends and readers even when presenting the most irrefutable evidence. It really can't be just ignorance and stupidity. I know a lot of otherwise intelligent and accomplished people who hold incomprehensively wrong-headed notions about politics. Sadly, it seems the explanation is, facts don't matter, particulary when it comes to politics. Indeed, the more mistaken a person is, the more doggedly they will hold onto the wrong-headed notions when confronted with the truth.

It's apparently a subconscious defense mechanism. This is why their heads don't explode from an overload of cognitive dissonance. The mind simply refuses to process the conflicting information in order to avoid the necessity of admitting they were wrong. It appears we really are doomed and I don't think I mean that ironically this time.

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