Study: Politics Make Brain Not Work Good

Yeah, okay, so this is a low blow...

His conclusion, in Mooney’s words: partisanship “can even undermine our very basic reasoning skills…. [People] who are otherwise very good at math may totally flunk a problem that they would otherwise probably be able to solve, simply because giving the right answer goes against their political beliefs.”

– From Marty Kaplan’s article at Salon.

A new study out of Yale Law shows not only that people cling to political beliefs even harder when confronted with evidence to the contrary, as prior studies have indicated, but also that such clinging harms the brain’s ability to perform basic reasoning, like simple math problems.

This is not a “nyea-nyea, everyone who disagrees with me has brain damage” post. It’s me sharing real concern for my own brain, and reinforcing my belief [oh no!] that we all must keep open minds and go where the evidence leads us–not an easy task for humans in general, but especially Americans.


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