The reality is “facts” don’t mean much in the way of beliefs. Telling a person, who has the sincerest gut belief, the statistic that more Americans are killed each year by furniture than terrorism becomes somehow unconvincing, or rather disagreeable. Political psychologists call this tendency of people to conform assessments of information to some goal or end extrinsic to accuracy “motivated reasoning.” In other words, people believe what they want to believe.
Scott Brown and the Massachusetts Republican Party are scared of Elizabeth Warren. And they want they rest of us to be scared, too: Using jittery camera angles and lighting to create fear is nothing new in the annals of attack ads — and it’s no shock that the viral video of Warren speaking to the […]