Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Are Conservatives Really Different From Liberals?

Paul Krugman acknowledges that liberals as well and conservatives have biases. Moreover, they both tend to favor information that confirms their biases.  He argues, however, that there is an important difference between liberals and conservatives.  Liberals are readier to accept disconfirming evidence, and many liberals suffer from a Hamlet complex.  They are uncomfortable holding strong positions on many of their biases.  Krugman provides several examples to support his claim that conservatives are less susceptible to disconfirming evidence and that they are more certain about their belief system than liberals.  Krugman's expertise is not cognitive psychology, but he has been trying to understand why many conservative economists continue to hold firmly to their positions on many economic issues when the predictions that they have made have been wrong.  He offers a couple of explanations,  but his conclusion that conservatives biases are more firmly held than liberal biases is probably more accurate than the explanations that he offers.

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