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1 b_sharp  Wed, Sep 4, 2013 5:28:00pm

Liberals will consider this a validation of their ideas and successfully interpret the study correctly, where rwnjs in all their glory will disagree and invent wild stories about it.

2 RealityBasedSteve  Wed, Sep 4, 2013 5:48:08pm

What’s more, it turns out that highly numerate liberals and conservatives were even more—not less—susceptible to letting politics skew their reasoning than were those with less mathematical ability.

We are all subject to confirmation bias, I know because I see it every day. The folks who are highly numerate (never heard that word before, but I like it) have better tools to mentally ‘tweak’ the results to match their bias. If a Poll were 35% my view, 45% opposing view, and 25% undecided, I’d mentally see that as “less than 50% supports the opposing view, See, I’m in the Majority”.

As a fiend of mine likes to say, “There’s no delusion like self-delusion, ‘cuz we know what we want”


3 mechanic  Wed, Sep 4, 2013 9:13:58pm

The ability to make decisions while harboring, scientific, doubt cannot be overestimated. No one on the planet can have any kind of super overview. We are but human. Our constitution enshrines the idea that good decisions will be arrived at through the genius of genuine consensus. Individual contributions add up to a competent social contract. A decline in comity will result, as it is, in governing and commercial and social incompetence because of incomplete survey.

4 jogiff  Wed, Sep 4, 2013 11:11:04pm

This is why it’s important to have friends with different politics than you.

5 kerFuFFler  Thu, Sep 5, 2013 5:43:01am
What’s more, it turns out that highly numerate liberals and conservatives were even more—not less—susceptible to letting politics skew their reasoning than were those with less mathematical ability.

I guess this is fairly predictable. When confronted with information that “seems” incorrect, highly numerate individuals of all stripes are better equipped to deploy criticisms of the experimental design and data manipulations.

And now, case in point (tee hee)*, I would want to see more about the actual examples of political fake ‘study’ data in this study. Seriously, the effect of “a law banning private citizens from carrying concealed handguns in public,” seems like an extremely difficult thing to measure so I would tend to be skeptical of any results ——much more so than for a study of rash ointments. It seems like this study is screaming “BOTH SIDES DO IT,” even though there is a lot of data out there suggesting that conservatives ignore empirical evidence that contradicts them more often.

What would be interesting is if this study included something more empirically dependable for any of the “political” issues. The issue of climate science seems relevant here as opinion on this matter divides fairly cleanly along political lines even though the data are pretty frickin’ compelling.

Yes we are all guilty from time to time of confirmation bias, but I suspect that liberal thinkers try hard to be on guard for that.

*And yes, I realize that I am questioning this study because it challenges my current beliefs. But note, I am questioning it, not dismissing it!

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