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 Epistemic Bias and the Right

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PostSubject: Epistemic Bias and the Right   5/20/2010, 8:34 am

Via Ed Brayton:

Quote :
Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute has a podcast up on the Cato website talking about a phrase he recently coined -- "epistemic bias" -- to describe how the right-wing echo chamber has produced a large portion of the citizenry essentially immune to evidence that is contrary to their beliefs.

He points to things like birtherism, death panels and other right wing myths and says, quite correctly, that there is a large group of people in this country who have swallowed a whole pack of false claims and become immunized against all evidence against those beliefs so thoroughly that nothing can shake them from them.

What he describes, as he admits, is not terribly different from plain old fashioned confirmation bias, which exists in people of all political persuasions, but when you combine that with a total distrust of the media and give them sources of information like Fox News that repeat such false claims over and over again, you get a sort of confirmation bias to the third power.

Very interesting theory. It's a phenomenon that the Daily Show and Colbert have highlighted on more than one occasion. Brayton has a link to the podcast. It's worth listening to.
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