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View Diary: Jon Stewart's EPIC Punking of the O'Reilly/Fox Phony Outrage Machine (105 comments)

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  •  Light most Hard-Core Righties (2+ / 0-)
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    john from vermont, caul

    It's not a question of intelligence, Billy's problem is that he's blinded by Partisan Confirmation Bias.

    Confirmation bias is a type of cognitive bias and represents an error of inductive inference toward confirmation of the hypothesis under study.

    Confirmation bias is a phenomenon wherein decision makers have been shown to actively seek out and assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis, and ignore or underweigh evidence that could disconfirm their hypothesis.

    As such, it can be thought of as a form of selection bias in collecting evidence.

    When people like O'Reilly see any evidence of something negative for Democrats or makes the President look like some kind of Mau Mau Black Panther America Hating Socialist Radical - it's confirms the bias they already have, and when someone like Stewarts grabs them the scruff of the neck and shoves their nose right into the smelly heart of that bias, they're oblivious to it.

    It's not like he isn't smart, he just uses his wits for evil instead of good.

    •  Partisan Confirmation Bias is not -- (0+ / 0-)

      -- Party-specific, right? Democrats can show the symptoms no less than the other camp, yes?

      Speaking for myself, I've been known to detect racist dog-whistles where none were intended; and to be all too ready to smell a conspiracy when it was only coincidence.

      But I'd rather read too much into things (and then filter out the nonsense), than see too little to begin with.

      The President seems to blessed with -- or afflicted with -- a skew to the other extreme. He seems disinclined to question anyone's motives, even when they're plainly rotten through and through. He sees everyone as honorable by default, until long and bitter experience proves otherwise.

      Lay off the footwork and throw a punch! ~ Joe Bageant

      by gotgat54 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 07:56:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course it is (0+ / 0-)

        something that afflicts both parties and I think we saw a good amount of it during the 2007-2008 primaries.

        I think a certain amount of confirmation bias, based on the biology of how older memories/thoughts stored in the frontal lobe can sometimes mask and override newer memories/thoughts/opinion formation in the hippo campus is actually our natural state.  It's works the same way that a web-browser will sometimes default to an old cached version of a site, rather than reload the most current version. That's how a generic stereotypes can override the specific individual person that may be standing in front of us.  We do it to save time.

        It's not something unique to the Republicans or Democrats - however I would say that a great deal of Democratic Politics is based more often of analysing facts that challenge preconceptions and tends to blunt the effect, whereas the Republican Ideology is becoming more and more dependent on confirming their own philosophical/moral superiority regardless of any fact that may contrast with that view.

        They exploit this bias for their own ends, whereas we try to overcome it.

        •  I like the distinction you make -- (0+ / 0-)

          -- between the Democratic and Republican approaches to politics. You see that divergence in the very character of the people you meet from either camp.

          Something there is about the Democratic ideology that draws analytical minds given to questioning preconceptions and received wisdom, dismantling stereotypes even if they are part of the species' time-saving apparatus.

          This is why Democratic politics is also plagued by internal dissension, bickering, excessive idealism, on-the-other-handing. It comes with the territory if you're into thinking things through.

          Republicans, on the other hand, do lock-step remarkably well. Why wouldn't they? They all live by the same set of broad simplistic platitudes and generalizations (like the 'invisible hand of the free market' or the notorious rising tide that lifts all boats). For them the Devil is very literally in the details, and should rightly be shunned. It's of a piece with the fundamentalist Christian belief: 'Everything I need to know is in this here Bible.'

          I see Obama as the epitome of that Democratic mind; yet, seemingly, he just can't see or acknowledge bad faith and malevolence in others.

          Bipartisan Confirmation Bias sounds about right for him.

          Lay off the footwork and throw a punch! ~ Joe Bageant

          by gotgat54 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:33:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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