Psychological Study: Conservatives Are Far More Likely To Put Feelings Over Facts

  • Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro is fond of saying, “facts don’t care about your feelings,” a quip that implies that empirical data is more important than anecdotal evidence. Yet a recent psychological study suggests that conservatives, not liberals, are far more apt to let their feelings to get in the way of accepting facts.
  • In a paper from the journal Political Psychology, researchers from Cal Poly Pomona and Eureka College describe a pair of studies that they conducted to determine if there is a connection between a person’s political ideology and their willingness to accept scientific and non-scientific views on non-political subjects. Their goal was to assess how people feel not just toward scientists but also “nonexpert” voices.
  • Why are conservatives more likely to reject empirical data? “From my understanding traditional conservatism is all about individualism, so more weight is given to an individual’s experience with any given phenomenon,” Dr. Alexander Swan, assistant professor of psychology at Eureka College and a co-author of the paper, told Salon by email.

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