Why There Need to Be Consequences For Holding Political Beliefs

Here’s an interesting abstract for you (boldface mine):

Partisanship seems to affect factual beliefs about politics. For example, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say that the deficit rose during the Clinton administration; Democrats are more likely to say that inflation rose under Reagan. We investigate whether such patterns reflect differing beliefs among partisans or instead reflect a desire to praise one party or criticize another. We develop a model of partisan survey response and report two experiments that are based on the model. The experiments show that small payments for correct and “don’t know” responses sharply diminish the gap between Democrats and Republicans in responses to “partisan” factual questions. The results suggest that the apparent differences in factual beliefs between members of different parties may be more illusory than real.

In other words, when there are consequences to beliefs, people are less likely to believe in the erroneous ones. This is why the de facto validation of all that ‘heartland’ hooey is so harmful: rather than forcing people to confront the reality that results from various beliefs, it enables the idiocy by preventing them from confronting the outcomes (potential or realized) of those beliefs.

Because personal responsibility should not be the sole purview of poor, single minority mothers.

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1 Response to Why There Need to Be Consequences For Holding Political Beliefs

  1. Lindsay says:

    So they do know what’s really true. Interesting.

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