Is There a Scientific Reason Why Republicans and Democrats Disagree?

8 Jan

Everyone knows Republicans and Democrats disagree about many things.  But here is something interesting…

Have you ever been involved in, or even seen, a political debate where one side changed its mind?

I bet you have not.  It’s amazing that after all these years, no one has ever “won” a political debate to the point where one side will agree and change their mind.  There is actually a psychological explanation for this.  But first, let’s look at the result of a study that might surprise you.

A new study from Duke University finds that people will evaluate scientific evidence based on whether they view its policy implications as politically desirable.  If they don’t, then they tend to deny the problem even exists.

In other words, people do NOT base their opinions on FACT.  Instead, they accept or reject facts based on what they already believe and what they perceive the consequences of those facts to be.  It’s like a child saying cavities do not exist because he or she does not want to brush their teeth.

The study used the examples of climate change and gun control to show BOTH Republicans and Democrats fall prey to the same psychology.

According to the study, conservatives deny the scientific evidence of climate change because the solution to the problem is seen as government intervention, like the institution of a carbon tax.

On the other hand, the study found that liberals downplay home break-in statistics when the solution may be to loosen gun control laws.

In both cases, “facts” were either accepted or denied based on what the political action or solution would be.

This newsletter is not expressing an opinion on climate change or gun control.  It is simply reporting results of a study.

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