The Ignorance of Voters

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    Habib's Avatar
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    The Ignorance of Voters

    Voters aren't just uninformed, and I think they are at an alarming level, but this goes for the more informed as well: we believe what we want to believe no matter the facts.

    The answer returns us to the difference between rational voters (what we think we are) and rationalizing voters (what we really are). It turns out that the human mind is a marvelous information filter, adept at blocking out those facts that contradict what wed like to believe.

    The Ignorance of Voters

    There have been a ton of studies on this "confirmation bias," so it's nothing new, but it's always a bit agitating when you realize such a substantial amount of heated disagreement and outright disdain are the result of cognitive bias.
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    Loved this article and believe that ignorance is only enhanced by media outlets like "Fox News."

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    Quote Originally Posted by PureFan View Post
    Loved this article and believe that ignorance is only enhanced by media outlets like "Fox News."
    Now you've done it...

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    The ignorance of voters is evident by the fact of who our president is...

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    Quote Originally Posted by cammando View Post
    The ignorance of voters is evident by the fact of who our president is...
    It took all of two posts to totally derail this thread. It's pretty amazing how quick this happens in P&R these days...

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    The Fox News post did it for me...

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    Good try, Habib.

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    Nice article. It makes a lot of sense.

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    I think a lot of this is because of how complex our system has become. 99% of the population doens't have time to educate themselves on every topic like they probably should to make the most informed decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Getslow View Post
    It took all of two posts to totally derail this thread. It's pretty amazing how quick this happens in P&R these days...
    Seriously, he's not that far off in his assessment. Obama was elected campaigning on a single word, "change". A knee jerk reaction to GWB. The 2010 election was the knee jerk reaction to that "change". I think both elections are perfect examples of what this article outlines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsrider View Post
    I think a lot of this is because of how complex our system has become. 99% of the population doens't have time to educate themselves on every topic like they probably should to make the most informed decision.
    I definitely agree with you there, but the article also argued that even well informed people rationalize information to fit their beliefs. I was reading a similar where respondents were asked about fake information given to them about global warming - something like "a ground-breaking new scientific study conclusively proved global warming doesn't/does exist - where liberals were almost universally more likely to find reason to believe it to be false if it said global warming didn't exist, whereas conservatives were almost universally more likely to believe it to be impregnable fact if it said global warming did exist, and vice versa. The point is we ignore and discredit information that undermines our views and accept information that confirms our views as universal truth.

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    Most people will believe what they want to believe. Even if facts to the contrary slap them in the face.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    Seriously, he's not that far off in his assessment. Obama was elected campaigning on a single word, "change". A knee jerk reaction to GWB. The 2010 election was the knee jerk reaction to that "change". I think both elections are perfect examples of what this article outlines.
    Very true!

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    Habit, good point. The Obama BC issue is a perfect example. How many have already said the long form released is fake?

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsrider View Post
    I think a lot of this is because of how complex our system has become. 99% of the population doesn't have time to educate themselves on every topic like they probably should to make the most informed decision.
    This exactly where I lie. I get so confused and flustered with politics that I just throw my hands in the air, vote my party line and call it a day.

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