follow CCP

Recent blog entries
popular papers

Science Curiosity and Political Information Processing

What Is the "Science of Science Communication"?

Climate-Science Communication and the Measurement Problem

Ideology, Motivated Cognition, and Cognitive Reflection: An Experimental Study

'Ideology' or 'Situation Sense'? An Experimental Investigation of Motivated Reasoning and Professional Judgment

A Risky Science Communication Environment for Vaccines

Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government

Making Climate Science Communication Evidence-based—All the Way Down 

Neutral Principles, Motivated Cognition, and Some Problems for Constitutional Law 

Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus
 

The Tragedy of the Risk-Perception Commons: Science Literacy and Climate Change

"They Saw a Protest": Cognitive Illiberalism and the Speech-Conduct Distinction 

Geoengineering and the Science Communication Environment: a Cross-Cultural Experiment

Fixing the Communications Failure

Why We Are Poles Apart on Climate Change

The Cognitively Illiberal State 

Who Fears the HPV Vaccine, Who Doesn't, and Why? An Experimental Study

Cultural Cognition of the Risks and Benefits of Nanotechnology

Whose Eyes Are You Going to Believe? An Empirical Examination of Scott v. Harris

Cultural Cognition and Public Policy

Culture, Cognition, and Consent: Who Perceives What, and Why, in "Acquaintance Rape" Cases

Culture and Identity-Protective Cognition: Explaining the White Male Effect

Fear of Democracy: A Cultural Evaluation of Sunstein on Risk

Cultural Cognition as a Conception of the Cultural Theory of Risk

« "Knowledge deficit theory^2": a definition | Main | A draw in the “asymmetry thesis meta-analysis” steel-cage match? Nope. It’s a KO. »
Thursday
Dec142017

"Gateway belief" illusion--published and critiqued (?)

Get your copy now before it sells out!

 

VLFM, minus F, "respond"; 100 CCP points, redeemable in CCP gift shop, to anyone who can explain what cultural cognition has to do with the critique of VLFM for not reporting their control condition data.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (52)

"VLFM, minus F, "respond"; 100 CCP points, redeemable in CCP gift shop, to anyone who can explain what cultural cognition has to do with the critique of VLFM for not reporting their control condition data."

I think they're trying to argue that their citation of 'consensus' in their summary of the literature had no effect on your beliefs, because you were attending to evidence selectively, and that you disagree with them not because you didn't know about their evidence, but because of your cultural identity as a member of the "cultural cognition" school of social psychology. :-)

They say "Accordingly, survey research indicates that only 13% of Americans correctly understand that the scientific consensus ranges between 90% to 100%". But of course the actual figure is about 82%. If they can't even get *that* right, what hope is there for accuracy in the rest of their work?

December 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

Dan,

What is preventing you and VLFM from working out each others criticisms prior to publication?

I mean, it's a bit fun to watch you vs. them become backfire effect poster children, but the plural of anecdote (even amusing ones) is not data. Why not work together? Such as with "Taking Corrections Literally But Not Seriously?". That paper appears to show a middle way that both you and VLFM appear to claim as support for your respective sides (although neither of you cite that paper, because perhaps not about climate change). You're claiming if the corrections are not taken seriously - meaning more foundational belief changes are demonstrated to be propagated to more forward beliefs, then there is ample room for cultural cognition to close the gateway. They seem to be claiming that significant propagation was just not part of what they expect their model to predict - in other words, they showed literally and believe seriously to be an expected weaker effect (and claim to show that). So, their interpretation is perhaps that one shouldn't expect most folks to venture far and fast through open gateways. But, still important to kick open those gateways.

December 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Ecoute -

I thought you'd find this interesting.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/14/us/charlottesville-james-alex-fields-court-appearance/index.html

Looks like the prosecutors are in on the conspiracy, eh?

December 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Joshua,

I suspect that might be due to applicability of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggshell_skull.

December 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonthan -

Not following. Could you spell it out for those who are (sometimes?) slow to pick up what people are putting down?

December 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Jonathan -

I found this interesting w/r/t the question of the interaction between racial identity (and racism) and ideological identity:

Unfortunately I think it is behind a paywall...but maybe the Google or browser incognito workarounds will work or maybe you get the Atlantic?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/546356/

Here's a response that unfolds a lot of the original article as its author makes his points:

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/11/29/opinion/donald-trump-2016-election.html

Anyway, I thought this paragraph lays out some interesting examples of motivated reasoning:


One measure of the allure of Trump’s white identity politics is the extent to which it has overridden other concerns as his administration has faltered. The president’s supporters have stood by him even as he has evinced every quality they described as a deal breaker under Obama. Conservatives attacked Obama’s lack of faith; Trump is a thrice-married libertine who has never asked God for forgiveness. They accused Obama of being under malign foreign influence; Trump eagerly accepted the aid of a foreign adversary during the election. They accused Obama of genuflecting before Russian President Vladimir Putin; Trump has refused to even criticize Putin publicly. They attacked Obama for his ties to Tony Rezko, the crooked real-estate agent; Trump’s ties to organized crime are too numerous to name. Conservatives said Obama was lazy; Trump “gets bored and likes to watch TV.” They said Obama’s golfing was excessive; as of August Trump had spent nearly a fifth of his presidency golfing. They attributed Obama’s intellectual prowess to his teleprompter; Trump seems unable to describe the basics of any of his own policies. They said Obama was a self-obsessed egomaniac; Trump is unable to broach topics of public concern without boasting. Conservatives said Obama quietly used the power of the state to attack his enemies; Trump has publicly attempted to use the power of the state to attack his enemies. Republicans said Obama was racially divisive; Trump has called Nazis “very fine people.” Conservatives portrayed Obama as a vapid celebrity; Trump is a vapid celebrity.

All the points may not hold up to scrutiny (not sure that it's clear that Trump eagerly accepted Russian aid, or that he called Nazis very find people). But it's a nice collection nonetheless.

December 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Joshua,

The argument, echoed by Ecoute, that Fields shouldn't be charged with murder (of any degree) because Heyer supposedly died of a heart attack instead of crash-induced injuries, I suspect probably won't win due to the Eggshell Skull doctrine: "The courts do not want the defendant or accused to rely on the victim's own vulnerability to avoid liability". The new news you linked to is obviously the elevation from 2nd to 1st degree murder - that's not what I was pointing to, and didn't think you were either (due to mentioning Ecoute). Sorry for any confusion if I'm wrong about that (or, regardless).

December 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan -

Thanks for the explanation. And yes, I think that your connection to the Eggshell Skull seems apt. Not to mention that I'm dubious about Ecoute's sourcing for Heyer's cause of death. Not that I would doubt, of course, the plausibility of conspiracies between the leftist media, the FBI (and other branches of the deep state, doncha know), the medical examiners office, the prosecutor's office, Heyer's family, and the kitchen sink while we're at it. 😁

https://www.google.com/amp/www.newsweek.com/charlottesville-heather-heyers-cause-death-revealed-medical-report-686471%3famp=1

December 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Joshua,

I had seen that Atlantic article. To me, the situation screams SDO, which if that thesis is correct and applies, we should try to disentangle from other claims - such as absolute economic levels. If SDO, then the desire is for relative higher status than other groups, even if lower than some yet other groups, both economically and more importantly socially. Willing to be a 2nd class citizen so long as there are other 3rd class citizens. If so, that Atlantic article's conclusion would be incorrect.

Recall that SDO is probably all nurture (unlike RWA, for instance).

As for Douthat, there is a burgeoning cottage industry of conwonks complaining these days. David Frum. George Will. Many neocons.

December 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan g

SDO and RWA? (I have a hard time remembering acronyms... in part I think a product of my anti- authority inclinations).

Your alternate theory is interesting. I'm not sure that I think that Serwer's argument is convincing, but I do think it is at least plausible, and his criticisms of the prevailing narrative about economic hardship as opposed to racial animus as the mechanism motivating Trump's victory, I think, well thought out. At least he has some counter for the main monkey wrench in the "racial antipathy" theory: the possibility that key segments of Obama voters voted for Trump (although I did still think that was the weakest part of Serwer's defense of his thesis). My own take on that monkey wrench is that we don't actually know they were the same voters. It is possible (if maybe not all that likely) that a lot of Trump voters (in those key demographic areas) stayed at home during previous elections and many of those who voted for Obama stayed home in 2016.

Also, in the back of my mind as I read Serwer's piece are the analyses I've seen about the Brexit vote being best explained not by economic status, but by identity antipathy (leave votes were not concentrated among those who where hurt the most economically by immigration even if they were concentrated among those that most opposed immigration). The allure of hating an "other" doesn't have to be explained by the identity of those who are resented, IMO. It can have a kind of generic appeal: "I feel better simply by virtue of having someone beneath me - and I don't particularly care who that is. "

So how would your mechanism of causation be differentiated from Serwer's? Of course, more than likely there are various forces in play (which Douthat correctly stressed even if he employed a bit of a strawman in doing so)..

December 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Prior to reading Ecoute's comments, I had no idea of the linkage between far rightwing ideology and views on obesity. Fascinating:

https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2017/09/08/Fringe-media-are-furiously-trying-to-absolve-the-white-nationalist-who-allegedly-killed-He/217886

December 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Joshua,

SDO is social dominance orientation. RWA is right-wing authoritarianism. SDO is a tendency to answer survey questions in a way that indicates a preference for static socioeconomic stratification and a know-your-place norm (at least for others, but often even for one self). Some link SDO to a fear of competition for resources, while RWA is usually linked to a fear of violence/chaos (consider Hobbes' Leviathan).

My point is that we need to understand a grievance properly in order to address it. I'm not sure (though I'm sure I often sound sure ;) that these moral psychological theories are going to pan out, but they're possibly an improvement over shouting past each other. So, file this under libsplaining how Marx was wrong, volume 47: not all grievances are economic. Some people like class distinctions.

If SDOers foundational disposition is a fear of competition, then that's where we need to focus attention - and requiring that they drop their stratification preferences prior to inclusion isn't going to work out well (we've got ample evidence of that, don't we?). Unfortunately, there are other groups that uphold competition as a sacred ideal. And, of course, there are the groups that suffer from the stratification that SDOers prefer. But, hey, isn't unlikely coalition building the one true skill of libs?

December 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

"My point is that we need to understand a grievance properly in order to address it."

Well said!

It's very hard to do from the outside, though.

"I had seen that Atlantic article. To me, the situation screams SDO, which if that thesis is correct and applies, we should try to disentangle from other claims - such as absolute economic levels."

Dunno. The impression I got was of aversion to cultural change - 'culture shock'.

People grow up in their youth with a particular social order, a set of rules and ways things are done. This or that behaviour is socially unacceptable, and will get you excluded. The world is comfortable and familiar, they know how they fit into it, and how everyone else fits in with them.

Then society suddenly changes. They bring in new rules - things formerly allowed are forbidden, things formerly forbidden are allowed. Customs change. The language changes. The familiar faces of people change. Jobs change, and what was once a comfortable living is now a dead industry, out-competed by cheaper labour or technologically obsolete. It's suddenly like they're living in a strange foreign country, where they don't fit. And from formerly been respectable and conventional pillars of the community, they find themselves attacked at every turn as "deplorables" with horrible beliefs and horrible customs (often twisted out of all recognition in the media); the objects of contempt and social exclusion. And all for doing what they were brought up to believe was right.

(It may be worth noting that Muslim societies are currently facing the same problem, in their case with Modernisation and Westernisation. Muslim conservatives are even more conservative than Republicans! Might something similar happen there?)

People are angry; that what they had justly earned is being taken from them, that they're being told they must change their ways and their attitudes, and they're not deserving of any sympathy. The social order has been turned upside down. But it's not purely that in the process they have been demoted, but that they connect the social order with what is right. People reach the top of the social order by behaving in the right way. And it's the conflict between their values and the new social order that disturbs them, where bad behaviour is rewarded. It's the new contempt for their values that grates on their nerves, and leads them to reject compromise and moderation.

They might not like racists (and most of them don't), but even a racist is better than what the political Establishment has been offering the past few years. The 'opposing' candidates are always united in supporting the changes to society, and virtually indistinguishable from one another. That's partly because because of the 'median voter theorem', partly because any politician who steps over the new lines is mercilessly attacked and driven out. There's nobody in politics representing *them*.

It was much the same in the UK with Brexit. Despite all the attempts to paint them as racists, it was never about race. (The EU is just as sensitive about illegal economic immigrants crossing its borders - across the Mediterranean into Greece and Italy, for example.) Most of the people who voted 'out' were doing it because of the sovereignty issue, and the EU's attempt to impose a particular progressive culture on Britain. Once the vote went through, UKIP's support at the next election dropped like a brick. They were only voted for because *none* of the other parties would represent their values and wishes.

People vote for disreputable political figures because the 'reputable' ones are constrained to stay within the elite's cultural gestalt. Disreputable figures are used to being attacked and have no reputation to lose so they're free to offer people what they want, the things the new culture now forbids.

The political elite tried to lead, but need to learn to follow. Politicians are supposed to represent the people, not rule them.

"Unfortunately, there are other groups that uphold competition as a sacred ideal."

True. But people who support competition tend to oppose rules and regulations, including the strict new social ones, so there is common ground to work with. There needs to be a free competition of ideas, with nothing forbidden to discussion, no opinions or attitudes that can't safely be expressed and tolerated.

Cultures are on offer, and compete by trying to attract adherents. If a culture dies because nobody wants to join it any more, there will be nobody to mourn its loss. But a culture that is killed by others making it too dangerous to openly follow it... competition supporters don't like that.

December 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

Jonathan -

SDO is social dominance orientation. RWA is right-wing authoritarianism.

Oh, right. I had googled them previously but didn't retain the concepts they stand for...they both remain for me as more an abstract concept than something that I can integrate into my thinking very smoothly No doubt, in part, because I don't really (at least as of yet) accept them as meaningfully descriptive of asymmetries - although I have no doubt that social dominance and authoritarianism are very human tendencies.

My point is that we need to understand a grievance properly in order to address it.

Sure - but there might be different ways to understand a grievance. One might be that it is firmly based on contextual realities; Trump voters feel aggrieved because their previous perch atop the hierarchy is under threat, or Trump voters feel aggrieved because illegal ferners are stealing their jobs, or Trump voters feel aggrieved because their tax money is being robbed to give handouts to blacks (who are genetically predisposed towards stupidity and laziness).

And we could consider the nature to be founded in SDO, or racism, or nativism, or loss of status or class privilege relative to another group. But I wonder if also there aren't two, very important underlying psychological imperatives that aren't quite captured by contextual particularities. One is a natural drive towards tribalism (with the accompanying, follow on behavioral manifestation of identity protective aggression/defense). The other is a natural desire to be above others. That, of course, is closely related to a loss of status or class privilege to another group, but I think a bit different. It isn't so much a condition of one's own status relative to a particular group, but the loss of the ability to view someone beneath us. As long as we can view someone beneath us, then there is a stronger hope that we, ourselves can elevate to the next class level. A flattening of the hierarchy beneath the top level is threatening. Consider how many Americans have a much enlarged belief about class mobility as compared to what actually exists. I've seen a lot of talk about the tendency of Americans to ocnnect an aversion to helping poor people with one's own aspirations to becoming rich.

And at some level, I think that is a very American flavor - one that probably isn't as prominent in other cultures where communality is more operative. Americans strongly identify with individualism, as per de Tocqueville, as a cultural marker. Going back to my discussion with Andy, I think that there is an inherent condition in the human condition between individualism and communality, and Americans are comfortable with residing in balance on the individualism side of the spectrum, as compared, say, to Koreans. Although part of what is interesting about that is that at the same time, in America we have a form of cultural exchange where class distinctions are less obvious and operative than in other cultures. For example, in Korea, despite a negative view towards individualism (as found in the expression that it is the nail that sticks above the rest that first gets hit by the hammer), you have to quickly determine someone's class distinction when you first meet them to even know what kind of language to use when addressing them.


If SDOers foundational disposition is a fear of competition, ...

As much as I think that is a foundational disposition, I still struggle with the notion that it is a distinguishing foundattional distinction between group - especially when the criteria that are used to distinguish those groups are, IMO, relatively arbitrary. Rightwing vs. leftwing as distinguishing criteria just seems very arbitrary to me. Maybe if there really were evidence that shows some king of physiological difference in brain archetectures...but even then you'd have to cross the bar as to what is nature and what is nurture.

then that's where we need to focus attention - and requiring that they drop their stratification preferences prior to inclusion isn't going to work out well (we've got ample evidence of that, don't we?).

Yah. And then there is that. Even if there were evidence of meaningful statistical preferences in association with ideological orientation, how would you address those differences without engendering backlash? IMO, the only realistic way would be to encourage people to look at the natural tension, say between stratification preferences and a desire for equality, a tension that I would guess we'd find is much more likely to be something that crosses all ideological dispositions than something that distinguishes ideological dispositions.

Unfortunately, there are other groups that uphold competition as a sacred ideal.

Well, I'd guess that these aren't group distinctions, but tensions that we all have, and that sometimes we pick or choose one end of that spectrum or the other, but in a more or less arbitrary fashion: we do it in whichever way that reinforces our sense of self as standing in contrast to the "other."

But, hey, isn't unlikely coalition building the one true skill of libs?

Ultimately, it is my guess that it is an exercise in futility to try to focus on coalition building on a theory that stresses foundational differences. The science of conflict resolution lies on distinguishing interest from positions and operationalizing the commonality and synergy between shared interests.

December 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Oh, and I meant to add...

When I was talking about, perhaps, a characteristic of the American culture to at the same time to both be repulsed by a flattening of class hierarchy and to embrace a flattening of class hierarchy...

I see a connection there to what Server wrote about the American characteristic to simultaneously deny the real impact of racism in our society even as we embrace the institutional structures that crystallize race disparities (as so well reflected in the foundational documents that elevated equality and codified inequalities simultaneously). Of course, Server connected that to ideological assymetries...but I"m not so sure that works out as well as it if you dig beneath the contextual specifics to look at the more universal underlying mechanisms in play (a desire for equality along with a desire for superior status).

December 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

I found this bit interesting:

But of course the entire drift of cultural liberalism in the West of late has been to use taxes and mandates and regulations and speech restrictions against groups that they deem bigoted and backward. It’s increasingly common for liberals to assume that the irredeemable don’t qualify for certain religious liberties and the deplorable don’t deserve the fullness of free speech; the idea that the pejoratives don’t carry any element of political and legal threat is silly.

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

NiV,

Where's that quote from?

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Never mind - I found it in Douthat's piece.

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan -

Douthat's piece.

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Never mind - I found that you found it in Douthat's piece.

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

I wish Douthat had mentioned what kind of taxes etc. he thinks liberals want to raise on whom, due to deeming them bigoted and backward. I can't think of any such cases.

BTW, Douthat's prescription also from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/29/opinion/donald-trump-2016-election.html is:

The path for conservatism is to do roughly the opposite of what the party in Washington is presently doing — to adapt to the experience of Trumpism by moving to the center on economics, as he did in the campaign, while rejecting his white-identitarian appeals.

The path for liberalism is to treat Trump’s white working-class supporters as persuadable rather than deplorable, and to marry the economic critique that the present G.O.P. non-agenda deserves to a diminished absolutism on social issues where the Democrats have marched left faster than the country.

I can squint and think I see in "persuadable rather than deplorable" my own requirement for properly understanding the grievance. But, that depends on the type of persuasion Douthat had in mind.

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Re Douthat:

, but when a candidate makes many more populist promises than is usual for a Republican, and then wins more working-class votes than is usual, the straightforward explanation — that the promises actually resonated with voters — probably contains a lot of truth.

An odd thing to say, since it rests on ignoring what even he discussed earlier, that it wasn't so much that he won more working-class votes, but that he won more white working class votes.

And what is ironic about this:

The path for liberalism is to treat Trump’s white working-class supporters as persuadable rather than deplorable, and to marry the economic critique that the present G.O.P. non-agenda deserves to a diminished absolutism on social issues where the Democrats have marched left faster than the country.

Is that (I suppose arguably) was very much the target of Obama's rhetoric (if not necessarily his policies, again an arguable conclusion) - which had the effect of only enhancing the partisan divide in spite of the shared economic objectives with the working class (but not the white working class). How interesting it is, indeed, that the ACA is so much more popular once the direct ties to Obama have been attenuated. And it was always thus, e.g., that the discrete elements of the ACA were far more popular than the package as branded under the "Obamacare" label.

Although I'm not really in disagreement about Douthat's recommended prescription for "liberalism" in one sense, it also (ironically) suffers from the same kind of reductionism (IMO) that has plagued Demz since the "triangulation" prescription of the mainstream Demz since Clinton's presidency. At some point, as seems to me to be the message of Alabama, is that the path forward for Demz, in the sense of political expediency, lies not only (or perhaps not so much) in perusing the white working class vote as it is in meaningfully perusing the working class (and poor) minority vote. I fear that there is a bit of a step change in the political environment in the age of Trump/the age of post-Obama that will persevere for a decade if not more, which is that the white working class vote is lost to the Demz. The backbone of that Democratic working class white vote, unionization, has been decimated and that decimation has been institutionalized by Republican policies. The augmentation if that trend by the (white) nationalist appeal of the Trump/Breitbart/Fox News/working class alliance is strong, and not something that I think can be mitigated by Dem-aligned public figures.

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

"I wish Douthat had mentioned what kind of taxes etc. he thinks liberals want to raise on whom, due to deeming them bigoted and backward. I can't think of any such cases."

Don't know. Could it be this stuff?
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/26/tea-party-groups-targeted-irs-get-35-million-settl/

"Use" isn't the same as "raise".

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

NiV,

Oh - that. Is the impression really that this was somehow a liberal idea? To me, that looked like a cross between a personal vendetta and sociopolitical profiling to try to anticipate who is most likely to cheat on their taxes. Neither is something I think liberals want, although I guess that could be a no true Scotsman issue. I suspect that the IRS will eventually move to big data/automation in an attempt to find tax cheats, although, considering how far behind modern technology they tend to be, that move probably won't happen until well after the singularity ;).

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

"Oh - that. Is the impression really that this was somehow a liberal idea?"

Ha. Ha.

https://cei.org/blog/another-court-ruling-confirms-irs-illegally-targeted-tea-party-and-conservative-groups

" I suspect that the IRS will eventually move to big data/automation in an attempt to find tax cheats, although, considering how far behind modern technology they tend to be, that move probably won't happen until well after the singularity"

No, I'm pretty sure they've got a big database of Republican voters already...

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

Jonathan -

"Oh - that. Is the impression really that this was somehow a liberal idea?"

Do you seriously doubt the depth of the rightwing's sense over victimhood? Under Obama? From a tyrannical, Muslim, ferner, anti-christ?

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

"Do you seriously doubt the depth of the rightwing's sense over victimhood? Under Obama?"

Ha. Ha. Ha.

https://spectator.org/55560_obama-and-irs-smoking-gun/

https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-new-documents-reveal-doj-irs-and-fbi-plan-to-seek-criminal-charges-of-obama-opponents/

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

Speaking of which (and related to the Serwer thesis) :

https://www.alternet.org/right-wing/trumps-supporters-believe-false-narrative-white-victimhood-and-data-proves-it

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

"trumps-supporters-believe-false-narrative-white-victimhood-and-data-proves-it"

Yeah. It's got so bad that white people are pretending to be black just to get jobs...

http://www.theblaze.com/news/2012/05/16/fauxcahontas-plot-thickens-fordham-law-review-named-elizabeth-warren-first-woman-of-color

;-)

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

Perhaps the very definition of contrived victimhood: hyping anecdote in opposition to broad scale evidence.

Here's another anecdote of white victimhood:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-life-after-hate-white-supremacist-met-20170818-story.html

Because it's "so bad."

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

NiV,

On Warren:
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/dec/01/facts-behind-elizabeth-warren-and-her-native-ameri/

Joshua,

How is the IRS thing a case of false victimhood?

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan -

Were specific conservatives inappropriately targeted? From what I've seen, yes. And that would qualify as a real situation of conservatives being victimized. But I think that the broader argument regarding the IRS having a policy goal of victimizing conservatives as a group is dubious. Certainly, I would imagine that there were far more conservative groups that were not targeted than the number that were. While I think that the evidence is strong that the IRS inappropriately targeted groups based on political ideology, the evidence that it was lefties persecuting righties is considerably weaker. Certainly, righties were not targeted exclusively, and if there was an imbalance, I don't think the imbalance qualifies as "victimization" of conservatives, and certainly not to the extent to which it has been hyped.

It is rather the perfect example of conservatives expediently isolating evidence from the full context to confirm their biases and substantiate their sense of being victims even as they control all the White House and Congress and dominate the judiciary.

Not quite the same as whites extrapolating from anecdotes to paint a picture of white victimhood (read about what Picciolini has to say about the connection between right supremacists and whites identifying as "victims"), but a rather similar dynamic, one that largely characterizes so much of what we see in the conservative media (e.g., the "war on Christmas").

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Jonathan -

But more basically my point was what I consider to be the intellectually vacuous notion that "liberals" as a class want to use the power of the state to make victims of "conservatives" as a class. I would also consider the reverse characterization, as so often seen from the fringe left equivalent right to be similarly vacuous. People have real, if biased concerns about extremism (white nationalists, antifa, etc.) that slippery slope peddlers like to leverage to justify their need to be victims. I see the desire for victimhood to be a very key component of the kinds of identity defense/identity aggression behaviors that accompany polarization. (Vindication of an exaggerated sense of victimhood is one of the most prominent features of the climate wars.)

That doesn't mean, however, that I think that Serwer's point about Trump's dog-whistling of the racialized use of the state is similarly vacuous.

December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

"NiV, On Warren:"

Yes I know. I'm just teasing Joshua. He's so busy posting nutty partisan screeds from the gutter end of the liberal propaganda machine as if they had any credibility - I just thought I'd demonstrate that the other side can do it too. It's all about the symmetry thesis - both sides are equally biased, but both sides also think only the *other* side is! Joshua has a habit of pointing out all the examples of *conservative* bias he can find, declaring 'motivated reasoning', and decrying the blindness and utter lack of self awareness of conservatives. It's always about analysing *conservative* biases and asking how we can change things to deal with them, correct them, persuade them of the evident truth of the liberal cause.

Most places, that would be just amusing. But here, it winds up polluting the science communication environment regarding Dan's work. It gives the strong impression to any visiting conservatives that 'motivated reasoning' and 'cultural cognition' are just another in a long list of biased, insulting, anti-conservative political attacks on conservatives and their reasoning processes by the liberal-infested academic social sciences. It forces people to pick between what they know and who they are. And as a result, Joshua's efforts trash the credibility of Dan's work on the conservative side of the aisle.

Bringing up Fauxcahontas was simply intended to point out what everyone knows - that in liberal culture, minorities enjoy privileges and prestige that whites don't. Warren put it on her record seeking some of that social gloss - she certainly didn't expect it to be a social or professional disadvantage! Society has mandated equality and taken away white privileges, and most whites think that's fair enough, but then they've gone further and compensated minorities to balance up against the privileges white's no longer have! And now they're seeing a really nasty sort of reverse racism, where whites can be abused with impunity because of their 'privilege', and minorities get a moral immunity on everything, including criminality and violence.

Yes, at the moment it's mainly a few extreme cases that are exaggerated and publicised out of all proportion and with none of the nuance to get people riled up. But white people see the direction things are moving in and don't like it, and they'll want to stop it before it goes too far. That is, among other things, what the Trump phenomenon is about.

As you said above: "My point is that we need to understand a grievance properly in order to address it." But no serious attempt is being made to *understand* it. The article Joshua linked to was clearly designed to dismiss it, reject it, ridicule it, denounce it as "false". They're not listening to people's grievances, they're just ramping up the cultural attack even further, creating ever more grievance. And that only strengthens the support for Trump; demonstrates to them just how right he was and how imminent the danger. Just as all the media attacks on Trump have only proved how right he was about the media, and dented his popularity not at all.

The critical thing missing from the liberal story on this is any recognition of the symmetry thesis. Until you can prove that you *recognise* your own fallibility and bias (not merely as a theoretical possibility), conservative are certainly not going to admit to any such thing. So long as it's seen only as a criticism of conservatives, as a partisan political attack on conservatives, no conservative is going to pay any attention to or have any respect for the implications of cultural cognition, or any other bit of the science of reasoning/communication. Which would be a shame.

And it would also mean you're wasting your time even discussing it. "My point is that we need to understand a grievance properly in order to address it." There's no sign that liberals in general do, yet. The reason I found the above quote from Douthat so interesting is that it is the first case I can remember seeing in several years where an apparent (?) liberal *did* seem to understand it. Remarkable, and hopeful, if true.

December 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

Well, thank God NiV is willing to sacrifice (and post right wing garbage) to save any unsuspecting and gullible conservatives from unwittingly falling into the clutches of my dastardly plot.

Here's just a small sampling of just how much harm I've done by forcing conservatives to misunderstand and question Dan's work:

https://judithcurry.com/2016/12/01/perversions-of-open-minded-thinking-on-climate-change/

December 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Perhaps, at some point, understanding their grievances has its limitations.

As much as there is a mutual dynamic of interlocking identity aggressive/defensive behaviors, at some point maybe people have to look at individuals as being independently responsible for their own behaviors. Certainly, we would say that about Antifa or Richard Spencer and Milo Yianopolis, but maybe as a matter of scale this is an order if magnitude more concerning.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/12/18/a-coup-in-america-fox-news-escalates-anti-mueller-rhetoric/?utm_term=.6adb6636ae73

How much understanding of grievances is required when those grievances include using a major network to compare the Mueller investigation to the KGB?

Maybe sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

December 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

"Perhaps, at some point, understanding their grievances has its limitations."

Do you mean you have limitations on how far you're willing to take grievance understanding?

"Certainly, we would say that about Antifa or Richard Spencer and Milo Yianopolis"

I'm impressed! You mentioned Antifa as well! Maybe there *is* hope. :-)

"How much understanding of grievances is required when those grievances include using a major network to compare the Mueller investigation to the KGB? "

Sigh.

http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/05/18/msnbc-guest-compares-trump-to-hitler-leaves-host-in-shock-i-just-want-to-be-clear

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/07/25/the-theory-of-political-leadership-that-donald-trump-shares-with-adolf-hitler/?utm_term=.6a271c5c6ccb

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2017/12/09/msnbc-reporter-trump-is-acting-like-mussolini-franco-and-hitler-n2419596

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jun/22/msnbc-morning-joe-sickeningly-paints-hitler-pictur/

This is standard political hyperbole - Godwin's law stuff - designed solely to draw attention to the seriousness of the affair. No, Mueller isn't as bad, in all regards, as the KGB. But they do appear to be people who don't think the rules should apply to them, who put their own political expediency ahead of impartial administration, and that's dangerous in a government department with the powers the FBI does. No, they're not the KGB *yet*. The lessons of the KGB and the many other like them is why those rules Mueller broke were put in place.

So instead of drawing attention to the hyperbole used to advertise it, it would be more helpful to indicate you recognise the seriousness of the rule-breaking that's been reported. Otherwise, people might start to think that you take hyperbole critical of liberal officials more seriously than you do liberals conducting illegal searches in order to illegally use the powers of the FBI as their own partisan political weapon against the President of the United States.

Understand and acknowledge the grievance. *Then* criticise the exaggeration. You'll get a lot more respect that way.

December 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

NiV -

Still on your quest to make Tu Quoque a high art I see. It would be funny if it weren't so completely predictable. As such, it becomes more banal and boring than funny.

IMO, the over the top rhetoric of MSNBC or CNN are no more justified by the over-the-top rhetoric of Fox, than Fox's over-the-top rhetoric is justified by MSNBC's or CNN's. The notion that it is somehow asymmetric, or justified somehow by similar rhetoric in the other side are BOTH only a symptom of the basic disease, IMO.


Anyway, the point, IMO, is that blaming this kind of rhetoric on the rhetoric of someone else is part of the problem. Doing so is merely another branch of the identity protective reasoning root that feeds the poisonous tree. As such, IMO, "understanding grievances" has its limitations. No matter how many times you try to employ that logic I will remain unconvinced.

IMO, at some point trying to understand "grievances" is merely ignoring the larger dynamic in play. Of course the rightwing outrage factory at Fox feels aggrieved "because liberals." Of course they see themselves as victims of a vast conspiracy to deprive them of rights, to steal their money through taxes to give handouts to lazy black people, etc. IMO, trying to "understand" that sense of grievance, at some point, adds no new information beyond what has been obvious for decades. And trying to do so will not meaningfully lead to any kind of prescription for going forward, as the medicine to lead forward, at least at some point, has to begin with "personal responsibility."

Understanding that some whites feel aggrieved is useful up to a point, but at some point you gain nothing further from that understanding - the point at which their sense of aggreivement isn't connected to anything beyond their own tribalism, is a paranoid delusion rooted in tribalism. After all, white slave owners went to war because of their sense of aggrievement. Of course, where to draw that line is tricky and influenced by subjectivity, but I'm comfortable with a view that at some point its a reality. Just as some point Antifa's vision of a police state is a projection of tribalism more than a reality. That's one of the lessons from Obama's presidency - that there is a limit to what can be gained from seeking to understand grievances. At some point Obama seeking to understand grievances is merely a Muslim, ferner, tyrannical, anti-christ who is just trying to hide his advocacy on the part of the devil. . I'm not at all suggesting that understanding grievances it a waste if time in totality, just that sometimes it has its limitations, such as understanding the sense of grievance that leads fox news to compare the Mueller investigation to the KGB.

This is standard political hyperbole - Godwin's law stuff.

Perhaps, but I'm still on the fence as to whether we are seeing patterns that are actually not any different than what we've always seen. Sometimes I think that the level of partisanship and polarization are different. Sometimes I think that Trump's assault on critical media, criticizing the judiciary, self-victimization, etc, are something qualitatively different. I honestly don't know. I'm generally quite skeptical when people think that they've identified large-scale sociological shifts, but I also think there is some evidence of qualitative differences from what we've experienced historically.


Mueller isn't as bad, in all regards, as the KGB

As an example, IMO, trying to "understand" the sense of grievance that motivates such an absurd comparison (as if the Mueller investigation is similar to the KGB in any meaningful way) is a most likely a waste of time. IMO, If someone seriously makes such a comparison, then their sense of grievance should merely be seen for what it is, a desperate need to confirm bias. A pathetic attempt to peddle a slippery slope argument as a bizarre form of rationalization. It is enough to see it as such, IMO. Trying to understand further has its limitations.

December 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Related:

https://www.city-journal.org/html/age-outrage-15608.html

Much of the same stuff he said in the Peterson/Haidt video Jonathan linked downstairs. FWIW, I think a lot of it is weak (e.g., a confident and facile identification of a change over time, asymmetries in the media, alarmism about college campuses, etc.). Still trying to figure out how to reconcile my impression if these arguments, which I think are half crap, with my general impression of Haidt, as a careful scientist.

December 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

"Still on your quest to make Tu Quoque a high art I see."

You're missing the point.

*Both* sides do the same, but you only ever call out *one* side. It's all about the Symmetry Thesis!

"As such, it becomes more banal and boring than funny. "

Yes? And do you think the endless sequence of anti-Trump, anti-conservative links is anything other than predictable, banal, and boring? As well as polluting the science communication environment by turning Dan's work into a hyperpartisan anti-conservative attack that is going to cause conservatives to reject it?

"IMO, the over the top rhetoric of MSNBC or CNN are no more justified by the over-the-top rhetoric of Fox, than Fox's over-the-top rhetoric is justified by MSNBC's or CNN's."

Yes, but you didn't raise MSNBC's or CNN's misdeeds, you only pointed to Fox.

"The notion that it is somehow asymmetric, or justified somehow by similar rhetoric in the other side are BOTH only a symptom of the basic disease, IMO."

Yes. Well done. That's a part of what I'm saying.

But what I'm mainly pointing out is that despite *both* sides doing it, you only ever seem to point out *one* side doing it - that particular asymmetry is what I'm talking about.

"Anyway, the point, IMO, is that blaming this kind of rhetoric on the rhetoric of someone else is part of the problem."

I'm not blaming it on anybody! Both sides do it. It's part of the way humans behave. But my point is that *both* sides do it, and when you constantly only apply it to *one* side, it's seen as a partisan attack on that side, rather than a general and generic commentary on all of humanity. Identity-protective cognition predicts that it will therefore get rejected. That's what Dan calls pollution of the science communication environment.

"As such, IMO, "understanding grievances" has its limitations. No matter how many times you try to employ that logic I will remain unconvinced."

But you didn't recognise the grievance - you're still arguing about the hyperbole. Did your hyperbole lead to our hyperbole, or is each hyperbole generated separately? Who cares?! The grievance is that Mueller *illegally* accessed and used records he should not have to pursue his enquiry. You've *still* not acknowledged it! It's almost as if you was trying to *avoid* the issue by making a fuss about the KGB comparisons...

"IMO, at some point trying to understand "grievances" is merely ignoring the larger dynamic in play. Of course the rightwing outrage factory at Fox feels aggrieved "because liberals.""

Is that why you think they're criticising Mueller? "Because liberals"?

"Of course they see themselves as victims of a vast conspiracy to deprive them of rights, to steal their money through taxes to give handouts to lazy black people, etc. IMO, trying to "understand" that sense of grievance, at some point, adds no new information beyond what has been obvious for decades."

Caricature and lazy dismissal! *Why* do they think so? Why *now*? What are they experiencing, that makes them feel that way? What is their precise misunderstanding? What is your counter-explanation, and their reply, and your reply, and so on?

What's been obvious for decades is that you're not listening!

"And trying to do so will not meaningfully lead to any kind of prescription for going forward, as the medicine to lead forward, at least at some point, has to begin with "personal responsibility." "

I kinda get the feeling you're not talking about *you* taking any responsibility for this.

"Understanding that some whites feel aggrieved is useful up to a point, but at some point you gain nothing further from that understanding - the point at which their sense of aggreivement isn't connected to anything beyond their own tribalism, is a paranoid delusion rooted in tribalism."

It's not rooted in their tribalism. That's a dismissal, not understanding.

"After all, white slave owners went to war because of their sense of aggrievement."

Yes, and you might have avoided the war if you'd paid more attention to the grievances. *We* managed to get rid of slavery without a war. So did lots of other people. Don't oversimplify, and use the evils of slavery as an appeal-to-emotion excuse to abdicate thought/consideration.

"At some point Obama seeking to understand grievances is merely a Muslim, ferner, tyrannical, anti-christ who is just trying to hide his advocacy on the part of the devil."

Don't confuse the smoke with the fire. The grievance was Obama's tolerance for Muslim terrorist atrocities and their regressive misogynist, homophobic, intolerant and intensely US-hostile culture - the suspicion that Obama was doing this because he was a Muslim was a sideline. You don't need to address the smoke, you need to address the fire. Why do liberals support and defend a culture founded by a slave-taking warlord who advocated pretty much everything they're against? *That's* the grievance!

"I'm not at all suggesting that understanding grievances it a waste if time in totality, just that sometimes it has its limitations, such as understanding the sense of grievance that leads fox news to compare the Mueller investigation to the KGB."

But so far, you've not given any indication that you do.

"Perhaps, but I'm still on the fence as to whether we are seeing patterns that are actually not any different than what we've always seen."

No, this is what we've always seen. It's a bit more hysterical and polarised than usual (in recent times, at least), but not essentially different from all the rest of humanity's history.

"Sometimes I think that Trump's assault on critical media, criticizing the judiciary, self-victimization, etc, are something qualitatively different."

Don't misunderstand. His criticism is not that the media is critical, but that the media is *one-sidedly* critical. There's an essential difference. It's much the same point I'm making with you.

"As an example, IMO, trying to "understand" the sense of grievance that motivates such an absurd comparison "

Forget the comparison! The comparison is not relevant!

The issue, the grievance, is that the head of the FBI has (allegedly) broken the law to pursue his investigation beyond the bound of the pre-election remit into the post-election transition period, accessing thousands of documents, some privileged, that he technically has no right to. https://legalinsurrection.com/2017/12/trump-transition-team-lawyer-mueller-improperly-grabbed-tens-of-thousands-of-transition-docs/ The issue is whether the FBI still considers itself constrained by the law.

Now maybe there's a good answer to that, that you could give, and maybe we'll have to wait and see. But if you dodge the real grievance to chase after fluff like whether comparisons to the KGB are justified, it just confirms the impression conservatives have that you're not serious. It's dodging the issue by pointing to a distraction. It would be helpful if you stopped doing it.

December 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

"Still trying to figure out how to reconcile my impression if these arguments, which I think are half crap, with my general impression of Haidt, as a careful scientist."

Personally, I think there's an obvious answer to that. Haidt *is* a careful scientist.

December 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

More white victims heard from.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/trump-racial-jeers.html

Not sure it's all that difficult to "understand" their sense of aggrievememt. 😁

As to whether this is just all the same as it ever was.

According to several scholars of American history, the invocation of a president’s name as a jaw-jutting declaration of exclusion, rather than inclusion, appears to be unprecedented. “If you’re hunting for historical analogies, I think you’re in virgin territory,” said Jon Meacham, the author of several books about presidents, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Andrew Jackson.

December 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Joshua,

You might like this:
https://heterodoxacademy.org/2017/12/14/an-interview-with-john-mcwhorter/

December 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan -

Which aspect did you think I'd find interesting?

It struck me as pretty standard (heterodox academy) fare - outside of the unusual aspect of him being black, and outside of him recognizing the hypocrisy of those doomsaying about the harm done by "snowflakes" then turning around and clutching their pearls and getting the vapors from their fainting couches if someone calls them a white supremacist. It is the first time I've seen anyone call out political correctness from his angle (although he didn't call it that, which would have been really interesting).

I Googled him and found out that he's critical of Paolo Friere and Jonathan Kozol I'll have to dig around for that - that should be interesting to read.

December 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Jonathan -

Seen this?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2017/11/22/at-yale-we-conducted-an-experiment-to-turn-conservatives-into-liberals-the-results-say-a-lot-about-our-political-divisions/

December 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Needless to say, I'm skeptical about the external validity of their findings, but it would be interesting to see what the authors might say about the various studies examining the effectiveness of fear-messaging related to climate e change. Certainly fear-messaging exists on both sides of the climate wars, but from what I've seen there's a lot of speculation that fear-messaging is particularly counterproductive as a strategy to mitigate "skepticism." This study would certainly be consistent with that viewpoint, as not only does fear messaging put people off and distance them from pro mitigation advocacy, but it might be particularly ineffective with "conservatives."

December 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Joshua,

Yep, saw that superpower study. The McWhorter interview was a recent piece from HxA on the same subject of that Haidt link - admittedly pretty standard for them. Interesting that he doesn't like Kozol - I wonder why?

Here's a salient link to our ever-lenghtening debate:
https://theconversation.com/the-dangerous-belief-that-white-people-are-under-attack-88622

December 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan,

You point out an interesting symmetry here with your juxtaposition of parallel stories that I found interesting, even if Joshua doesn't. Do conservatives really understand the grievances of the people chanting insults at them? Conservatives think they do - they're told as part of the process - but do they really? I mean, it's not race, since a lot of the college liberals doing this are white, it's not poverty, since a lot are better off than average, it's not about personal experience of deprivation/persecution/crime/gangs; most of those kids drop out long before they get to university. Why do college liberals do it? What's gone wrong in their lives, to make them so angry? Do we know? Or are we making assumptions like liberals are doing about Trump supporters?

Interesting point. I'd not thought about it that way before. Thanks!

December 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

NiV,

I don't have a clue about the ultimate cause of the campus uproars. But, whatever is happening at Dartmouth is slowly opening the gates of hell:
https://patch.com/new-hampshire/concord-nh/mass-warm-rock-bubbling-under-nh-vt-report

December 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

I started reading a but more of McWhorter. Trying to force myself to slog my way through some of this... some if it is interesting, but much just reads to me like standard right wing tripe:

http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/m/mcwhorter-race.html

It's interesting that I'm pretty sure he grew up in the same neighborhood as I in Philly (he mentions growing up in a peacefully integrated neighborhood and the neighborhood I grew up in is fairly famous for its uniquely successful racial and economic integration).

I followed the Wikipedia link to read about his thoughts on Friere and Kozol.

What a disappointment. I was hoping for a sophisticated discussion - but it was merely popular magazine eye-candy. Seems he's pretty content with standard provocative and sensationalist reactionary thinking about education. His views on Kozol's work on the interaction between funding and education are simplistic. I have some sympathy with his criticism of Friere, in that even as I believe in addressing the underlying shallowness of our standard educational (top down, "empty vessel") paradigm, there is a need to focus on skill-building with young black youth. But I'm more in line with the approach of someone like Bob Moses, who actually addresses that issue - rather than just bloviate about it - and combines a constructivist/progressive critique of education with McWhorter's concern about skill building.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algebra_Project

And if you do read that New Republic piece, IMO, he's just flat out wrong w/r/t extending his critique of how Friere's work translated into a situation where kids in private schools get a leg up because teachers there don't worry about facts being dry. In my experience in working in city schools, private schools, and minority kids in college settings, it's pretty much the exact opposite, actually. White kids coming from private schools to a college are generally much more prepared to be self-actualization learners because of a generally more progressive approach they've become accustomed to where, there was more of a focus on empowering students as learners. And his cause and effect explanation for why private schools are more fact oriented (which they aren't) because they have fewer ed school trained teachers is just flat out weird, IMO.

My guess is that he's probably a good linguist, but is way out over his skis on a lot of other issues. Not to say that he isn't entitled to his opinions, but he seems to have a lot of views stated as fact that aren't even remotely evidence-based

December 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>