PATH: BS | Science | Psychology
Cable Networks Pander To Partisian Brains Wired To Ignore Facts
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|Director of Clinical Psychology at Emory University, Drew Westen studies the way that psychology and politics intersect, and he says the format of cable TV news -- throwing out a topic to two representatives of opposite sides -- capitalizes on a design flaw in the human brain. People believe what they want to believe, no matter what the facts are.
As a result, highly-polarized people, such as self-promoting Democrats, Republicans, liberals and conservatives tend to ignore facts that do not substantiate their side. And mainstream media propogates and panders to these flaws, especially via a method of creating "demon" icons like fundamentalist radicalists, Michael Moore, Rush Limbaugh, the ACLU or PETA. These references create such irrational contempt among certain polarized groups that they ignore facts on relevant issues to which they may not even be associated. In other words, you can tell a republican that Rush Limbaugh burned down his neighbor's house and he may suggest the neighbor deserved it, but if someone from PETA steps on his lawn, he might want them arrested for trespassing.
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