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Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers studies self-deception. Why do we do it? The better to deceive others by first deceiving ourselves? It's a universal phenomenon - everyone does it. One of these studies is most relevant to politics, and I quote a paragraph from "The Better to Fool Others" within Discover Magazine:
In another experiment, researchers assembled a group of people who strongly supported or opposed capital punishment. Everyone was then presented with facts supporting both positions. The result? The people became even more strident in their views. The information gave each person facts to support his or her position. Again, while they thought they were evaluating the information objectively, they were not. Each group distorted the information to align with prior beliefs.
Like I always say. If you don't truly consider both points of view, you're unable to form an educated opinion. Open minds. Self-reflection. They're useful tools.

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