This is a really excellent and interesting article my boy sent me. It is particularly pertinent as the election date has been announced and we are going to be bombarded with "facts" by politicians. But I find the ideas and notions in it to be true of many situations.
"Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger."
I'd love to go on about people I know that behave like this even when presented with solid facts, but more important is that everyone is like this. Including me. I won't give certain politicians (especially ones in budgy smugglers) the time of day - not that I've even read their policies.
"Generally, people tend to seek consistency. There is a substantial body of psychological research showing that people tend to interpret information with an eye toward reinforcing their preexisting views. If we believe something about the world, we are more likely to passively accept as truth any information that confirms our beliefs, and actively dismiss information that doesn’t. This is known as “motivated reasoning.” Whether or not the consistent information is accurate, we might accept it as fact, as confirmation of our beliefs. This makes us more confident in said beliefs, and even less likely to entertain facts that contradict them."
I also find this interesting in terms of faith. How fascinating that some people can get two opposite messages from the Bible. I know people that will tell you that the Bible says homosexuality is wrong. I know others (I'm one as is my husband - for the record) that know the Bible doesn't say that.
Anyway it's a curious thing. Have a read of the rest of the article and be challenged.