A recent study examined people’s bodily responses while watching presidential campaign ads – and discovered another way that people avoid political information that challenges their beliefs. The results showed that participants react strongly to ads featuring their favoured candidate, but barely responded to ads featuring the rival candidate.
Zheng Wang (lead author of the study) suggests that people don’t really paying attention to the ads featuring the candidate they opposed even as they watched them.
“If people are exposed to information in ads regarding a candidate they oppose, they respond by basically tuning out,” Wang said.
In my opinion, this sounds like classic confirmation bias – happens everyday in our lives. To me, confirmation bias is the tendency for people to favour information that confirms their current beliefs. This is a very bad thing that can keep arguments circling, has people stick to inaccurate first impressions, and where even people trained in detecting deception can get derailed when their opinion of a subject affects their assessments.
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