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The backfire effect - Printable Version

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The backfire effect - Dr. Jezebel - 04-03-2018

I don't know how many of you are fans of The Oatmeal, but I came across this. It's a fantastic explanation of what happens when people are presented facts that oppose deeply held beliefs.


RE: The backfire effect - myotch - 04-03-2018

A little fun and interesting.

Also fascinating that the high-emotion examples given were where a conservative/libertarian/patriotic worldview was challenged, which made the whole thing feel like edu-tainment for woke™ progressives to expound on the notion that non-progressives should be a subject of observation, not authentic interaction in an exchange of ideas. (See also "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder" for the similar mindset on the other side of the aisle).

Are there deeply held progressive ideas worth challenging in an experimentation of the backfire effect? (Where is that Matthew Shepherd thread?)

RE: The backfire effect - Workin' Mama - 04-08-2018

Interesting. This could really apply to anyone -- liberal, conservative, or someone whose worldview falls outside of the modern Western liberal/conservative dichotomy.

Maybe I'm over-thinking things, but it brings up more questions than it answers.

It explains why so many of us feel uncomfortable when presented with new ideas that are contrary to our deeply held beliefs. It suggests, but doesn't explain, why many people are uncomfortable doubt, uncertainty, and ambiguity.

It explains why so many of us uncomfortable with cognitive dissonance -- holding and considering mutually exclusive ideas in our heads at the same time. Ultimately, we have to decide what to do with this conflict.
1. We can reject information we don't like, and convince ourselves that it's false because it doesn't fit our worldview. Definitely the easiest option, but may require burying one's head in the sand.
2. We can believe contradictory things at the same time, and tell ourselves that they are in fact not contradictory. In other words, try to have our cake and eat it too.
3. We can accept doubt, ambiguity, and philosophical conflict. We can accept the fact that people and philosophical ideas -- even good ones -- have their limitations. For example, we can appreciate what Abraham Lincoln did to abolish slavery, while also realizing that he held some racist beliefs. We can appreciate what the Pauline epistles did to elevate the position of women within the patriarchal society of Rome, yet also recognize that they contain ideas that inherently sexist and unjust when taken at face value. We can accept that our own particular way of understanding the universe does not fully explain the universe, and that various ways of understanding are merely tools, though some are better than others.