Saturday, June 28, 2008

A false belief about John McCain

We have encountered some resistance to the ideas in the Times editorial from readers who took issue with our focus on the Obama example. They felt that this was one-sided.

After some asking around, we now recall that there was a false belief about John McCain, dating to the 2000 Presidential primary campaign. He was doing well until the South Carolina primary, at which time rumors surfaced about a mixed-race child that he had allegedly fathered. Apparently, this did not play well with Southern voters. Shortly thereafter, his candidacy faltered.

On that note: ideas often have staying power if they evoke a strong emotional reaction. Here is a study suggesting that feelings of disgust make an idea memorable.

I hope the focus on one example doesn't deter readers from considering the ideas in the article carefully. This would be ironic, considering that a major point is that we tend to discount statements that contradict our worldview.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

your book sounds great. i intend to go out and buy it at once. thanks for the great work.

i read the ny times article today on false beliefs and thought... were was, like, the MSM with philosophical articles on the neuroscience of the brain when the country was being fed lies, out of whole cloth, about WMD? to this day, people still insist that the cai had been feeding bad intelligence to the adminstration. but this was simply a lie that the MSM repeated so often it became truth. in reality, the cai was at odds with the administration over Iraq and over intel and over the admin's attempt to get cai analysts to reason backwards from preconceived conclusions.

in short, although i am somewhat heartened that the MSM and other elite interests are pulling out all of the stops to avoid putting another W in the white house (and going so far as to discuss how the brain misperceives reality in the context of a discussions about political propaganda) it doesn't change the fact that, tomorrow, the MSM will be repeating lies, uncritically, all over again, because it serves their agenda.

word to the wise!