Jay Nixon

On cognitive dissonance and politics

I have a friend of 40 years whose politics are diametrically opposed to mine. That would be fine if he didn't insist on emailing me opinion pieces and news articles that articulate and support his way of thinking to the exclusion of all else. When I protest and fact-check the pieces and discover that they would cause Pinocchio's nose to grow to the size of a Buick, any statistics and facts I proffer don't impress him in the least. My friend simply tells me my thinking has become muddled by what I choose to read and watch. Social scientists have long been intrigued by this phenomenon. In 1960, Columbia University researcher Joseph Klapper studied the effects of mass...