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motivated reasoning
Liberals Are Just as Biased as Conservatives, Study Finds
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  • QET

    The Left, speaking through Stephen Colbert, already devised a slogan in answer to this fact that didn’t require meta-analysis to prove: “reality has a liberal bias.” It’s like the way blacks have redefined racism to include “power” which they assert axiomatically they don’t have, therefore they cannot be racist.

    The Left inhabits a world of its own tautologies and syllogisms which it takes for facts and then accuses the rest of us of living in a fact-free or post-truth world.

    • Makaden

      The real danger of this situation, which you correctly describe, is the “definition of the situation,” as sociologists like to call it. Liberals (and conservatives, to a lesser extent) have begun to define the situation as a zero-sum game. There can only be one winner. And winner takes-all.

      A very dangerous situation we are in now.

  • Anthony

    Who would have thought: “Political bias is not a conservative trait…but a human one….”

    • Isaiah601

      I will tell you who would NOT have thought that. Comrade FriendlyGoat. He is genuinely convinced that he has no biases.

      • f1b0nacc1

        Yes, well we all know that it is a mistake to take the insane seriously….

        • Andrew Allison

          Come, come now. Irrational and unable to recognize confirmation bias perhaps, but isn’t insane a step too far? On the other hand, the frenzy on the left resulting from the Presidential election does suggest insanity.

          • f1b0nacc1

            I was being generous with insanity…but the spittle flecked frenzy we have seen lately makes me believe more and more that perhaps it is more appropriate than I had previously considered

          • Boritz

            I would argue that our situation is worse than that of our ancestors. They would fight over a scrap of venison which was undeniably real. Today the battle is about to get really ugly and the fight is not over a tangible good but rather a fight over who controls the last evaporating vapors of reality.

          • ——————————

            Back in the good old days when we were fighting over venison, social justice warrior and other do-gooder types, were simply killed for being a weak link…and their venison was distributed among the rest of the tribe….

      • Gary Hemminger

        FriendlyGoat is pure, good, and wonderful. Everything he states is by definition unbiased. Everything anyone else says is racist, xenophobic, and evil. If only we had people like FriendlyGoat leading us all problems would be solved. We would live in a utopia, eating vegetarian delicacies forever.

  • Andrew Allison

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED to learn that confirmation bias applies to political leanings! Who’da thunk? [/sarc]

    • f1b0nacc1

      I HATE it when you beat me to the punch (grin)….

      • Andrew Allison

        Made my day!!

  • ——————————

    Everything we think and do is driven by human nature…and that is built into everyone, right or left…duh!

    How many grants were given, and how many studies were done to figure that out?
    It’s like how many PhD’s does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    Social Scientist??…what is that nonsense?
    Good grief, the arrogance of academia….

    • Makaden

      But as we were discussing on another thread, it’s precisely these studies that are necessary to quickly correct an imbalance and expose the vulnerabilities of cultural liberalism. We should not only welcome it, but promote more of it, for strategic reasons as well as for getting at the truth.

      • ——————————

        For the reasons you stated, and only those reasons, do I agree about the importance of “studies” in the other article about the left being as bias as the right.

        Much of the world of ‘studies’ is nothing more than a scam to get grant and other monies, and support job security.
        The results of studies change like the wind. Heck, there is a new article on TAI now; “Antarctic Meltwater Isn’t the Crisis We Thought It Was”.
        I wonder how many millions of dollars of ‘studies’ were done on this subject over the last 30 years…and now it’s OOPS….

        • Makaden

          For the most part, you have no quarrel from me on your major critiques. Sometimes, through the preponderance of evidence gathered and thought applied, we come to new understandings. I don’t want to belittle those precious times, because they do prove important to the species.

          • ——————————

            Touche!

          • Boritz

            In principle I agree, but the game has changed for the worse. I used to consume conservative media with the sense that there was a war going on and maybe just maybe the right would win. Today I still consume conservative media but the war is pretty much lost and conservative media just serves as a chronicler of the decline.

  • D4x

    JW writes “prestige press” “high-brow media outlets”, which sounds like implicit bias regarding Legacy media, the Mainstream media that assumes it is prestigious and high-brow because of their legacy of being the dominant mainstream media before cable, and the internet.

    No sociological studies were needed to reach that conclusion. I retain the suspicious gene, which appeared after puberty while reading about the ‘domino theory’ with Vietnam in The Miami Herald.

  • RedWell

    So what are the examples of influential conservative bias? How does a comment on the equality of political bias focus entirely on compensating for liberal bias?

    For example, we might look at business leaders or the military or the disproportionate number of older white voters.

    This fixation on the media and academia is unhealthy. It feels like an ex who can’t move on.

    On another note, that some aspiration to “truth” is not mentioned here is depressing. Conservatives should at least be good at resisting the easy relativism of, “hey, but you are biased, too!” Why not make the case for introspection and accountability to help us all move toward truth?

    • Anthony

      Fair and Balance, RedWell, fair and balance.

    • Jim__L

      Move on to what? Secession?

      The problem here is there is no mechanism for “ex”ing in this situation. Left and Right are stuck with each other. Making it work is the only option; “moving on” is not.

  • Anthony

    “The tendency to find otherwise identical information more valid. persuasive, and compelling” (Confirmation Bias) ought not be a goal Post implies if solidarity and quality governance are ends.

    Are we seriously after fact-finding competency or predominance of our respective political inclinations confirmed by strategic reasoning/ The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan had asserted: People have a right to their own opinion (biases perhaps) but not a right to their own facts. I side with the late senator but in politics as in most of social life, the assertion is easier said than experienced because what constitutes a fact is often unclear and even contentious. The Conservatism/Liberalism inferred in Post means the tendency to accept propositions that one wishes to be true as true while implying that at the end of the day our society (country) needs/requires a verification standard for facts sans ideological labels. So, here we are machinery…breaking down.

    Addressing breakdown may also require recognition that hidden biases (in this case political) are capable of guiding our behavior without our being aware of their role. Some describe “Hidden Bias” (including political) as bits of knowledge about social groups (conservatives/liberals perhaps). These bits of knowledge are stored in our brains because we encounter them so frequently in our cultural environments and as the meta-analysis suggests robustly affect partisanship. The gist of Post is that Conservatives and Liberals (as implied by writer) may be oblivious to their hidden biases and therefore unaware that their behavior can be guided by unconscious mental content. (See Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People)

  • slovokia

    The deeper issue is that human beings optimize for psychological and physical comfort. Ideas and facts that challenge ones belief system result in psychological discomfort. Any organization dedicated to fact finding and dissemination must be staffed by people with a higher tolerance for such discomfort. Perhaps news organizations should explicitely set up opposing ideological tribes within themselves so as to provide both psychological comfort while at the same time resisting the echo chamber effect.

    • Anthony

      Cognitive Dissonance, Slovokia, is a clinical description of what you aptly sum up.

      • slovokia

        Good point – what we want is people who, when encountering cognitive dissonance run towards the facts and a realistic interpretation of them as opposed to away from the facts and/or engaging in the construction of elaborate rationalizations. All hypotheses about the real world should be falsifiable.

        • Anthony

          Agreed. Now, let us continue to affect that reality!

  • Fred

    This study commissioned by the D’uh! Foundation.

    • Eurydice

      Yes, whose motto is “Dawn Breaks Over Marblehead.” 🙂

  • Angel Martin

    Since liberals continue to fail with their “fact-based” and “reality-based” analysis and polls etc….

    My advice to them is: it’s working great, don’t change a thing !

  • Gary Hemminger

    It is okay that the left is biased, because they are good, just, and sustainable. They will pick up and pet any kitten on the street. They love children and are protective of all living things, including plants and animals. When they say something it is always 100% correct and must be followed no matter the consequences. The right are all bigots, xenophobes, idiots, and evil. Unless the right is stopped at all costs, we are all doomed. the planet will be reduced to ashes. All plant and animal life will be extinguished. Also, everything the right does is meant to kill children and push grandmothers off of high cliffs, to their death. This is why it is okay for the left to be biased and not the right. It is never okay for the right to have bias. It is always okay for the left to be biased, because their bias is good.

  • Gary Hemminger

    Did there actually have to be a study to tell us this? I mean seriously, what is wrong with people? Anyone that actually believed that conservatives were more biased than liberals and didn’t see right through this as biased itself won’t be convinced by any study that debunks it. Has rationality so gone out of mankind that folks are not able to suspend disbelief and see the hypocrisy and sheer lunacy of this behavior on the part of the right and the left?

    Nothing shows the sheer lunacy of the right and the left more than their answers to immigration. On the left it is open borders and sanctuary cities. On the right it is build walls and deport all illegals. Can someone say whacko? Is there no middle ground here? Whomever believes either of these approaches is the right approach to the problem is a complete and utter lunatic, idiot, maniac. If the majority of people believe either side of this is the solution, then we are lost, because then this means the majority of us are lunatics.

  • samstewart

    Many of us are quite enjoying the division. Hopefully sooner than later, it ends up as mass bloodshed is the only way to continue.
    The country needs a cleansing of one of the parties to continue…

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