Monday, January 30, 2006

Political Bias

Recently, an fMRI study was presented investigating the areas of the brain activated when biased people read political statements.

"Everything we know about cognition suggests that, when faced with a contradiction, we use the rational regions of our brain to think about it, but that was not the case here," said Dr. Drew Westen.

The part that I liked was at the end:

'It is possible to override these biases, Dr. Westen said, "but you have to engage in ruthless self reflection, to say, 'All right, I know what I want to believe, but I have to be honest.' "

'He added, "It speaks to the character of the discourse that this quality is rarely talked about in politics."'

I guess psychology is a bit better in that biases are often discussed and everyone (should) realize(s) they have them, but most areas of thought of most (if not all) people have some degree of bias. Thus, depending on what you are trying to achieve, 'ruthless self-reflection' is probably a good way to go. (I think I might like 'relentless' better.)


Post a Comment

<< Home