Trump is your daddy
❝ How did Donald Trump win the Republican nomination, despite clear evidence that he had misrepresented or falsified key issues throughout the campaign? Social scientists have some intriguing explanations for why people persist in misjudgments despite strong contrary evidence.
Trump is a vivid and, to his critics, a frightening present-day illustration of this perception problem. But it has been studied carefully by researchers for more than 30 years. Basically, the studies show that attempts to refute false information often backfire and lead people to hold on to their misperceptions even more strongly.
…The reason is that people tend to accept arguments that confirm their views and discount facts that challenge what they believe…
❝ Trying to correct misperceptions can actually reinforce them, according to a 2006 paper by Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, also cited by Graves. They documented what they called a “backfire effect” by showing the persistence of the belief that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction in 2005 and 2006, after the United States had publicly admitted that they didn’t exist. “The results show that direct factual contradictions can actually strengthen ideologically grounded factual belief,” they wrote.
Next Graves examined how attempts to debunk myths can reinforce them, simply by repeating the untruth…“The more often older adults were told that a given claim was false, the more likely they were to accept it as true after several days have passed.”
When critics challenge false assertions…their refutations can threaten people, rather than convince them. Graves noted that if people feel attacked, they resist the facts all the more. He cited a study by Nyhan and Reifler that examined why people misperceived three demonstrable facts: that violence in Iraq declined after President George W. Bush’s troop surge; that jobs have increased during President Obama’s tenure; and that global temperatures are rising…
❝ Trump’s campaign pushes buttons that social scientists understand. When the GOP nominee paints a dark picture of a violent, frightening America, he triggers the “fight or flight” response that’s hardwired in our brains. For the body politic, it can produce a kind of panic attack.
Stupid still outweighs ignorant. An essential reason why I disagree with activists wasting time on folks who are Trump supporters. Reasons means nothing. He’s pushed all their buttons. They respond like trained rats. Or True Believers.
Folks are liable to accomplish more useful results focusing their efforts on the undecided. That premise already establishes you’re dealing with folks seeking information, facts – rather than a pat on the bum and a reassuring word from the Big Daddy who lives inside the TV screen.