Thursday, September 13, 2007

Study Finds: Republicans Dismiss Studies They Don't Like

This is interesting:

Exploring the neurobiology of politics, scientists have found that Republicans tend to dismiss scientific studies whose results challenge Republican orthodoxy.

In a simple experiment reported today in the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at New York University and UCLA show that political orientation is related to differences in how the brain processes information. Self-identified liberals and Republicans were given a set of abstracts from scientific studies that tended to undermine either liberal or Republican expectations.

The researchers found that the liberal subjects were willing to consider modifying their beliefs based on scientific evidence, while the Republicans rejected any non-conforming studies out of hand....

The reaction of Republican bloggers was swift and uniformly negative.

Jammie Wearing Fool called it the "dumbest research report ever". Jonah Goldberg dismissed it as "unpersuasive" and "craptacular nonsense". "Only an idiot would claim that we dismiss studies we don't agree with", he added.

Some Republican bloggers suggested alternate, more positive explanations for the results. A commenter at Althouse said Republicans "have better things to do with our time than consider the possibility that we might be wrong." According to Jules Crittenden, "this just shows that liberals adhere to a rigid dogma called 'open-mindedness', while Republicans are open to the possibility that rigid dogmatism might be right."