Facts rarely seem to win any political debate — and on this week's episode of The Weeds, we use some relatively depressing political science research to understand why.
In political debates, we often think of more information as the way to win. If another person just knew more about Obamacare or climate change or whatever the subject, he or she would be persuaded to think differently about it.
But when researchers look at this issue, they see the exact opposite thing happen. They see people using facts to fit into their preexisting worldview, rather than changing it.
Also on this week's episode: a case for softball questions in political debates, and a white paper of the week with some disturbing implications for public health in America. You can get the episode (and subscribe to all episodes!) on iTunes, or listen here:
- How politics makes us stupid
- Yale’s Daniel Kahan work on identity protective cognition
- Dartmouth’s Brendan Nyhan on attitudes toward vaccines
- Boston University's Emily Thorson on belief echoes
- Vox's poll on Obamacare
- Katie Couric asks Sarah Palin what she reads
- White paper of the week: Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century
- Princeton’s Paul Starr on economy and death rates
- Vox's David Roberts on the difficulty of making adult friendships