The Political Brain by Drew Westen download in pdf, ePub, iPad
Faced with this attack, the near-universal expectation was that Kerry would come back swinging immediately. Not surprisingly, in their assessments Republican subjects were as critical of Kerry as Democratic subjects were of Bush, yet both let their own candidate off the hook. Bush did nothing of the kind.
Bush and John Kerry in which the candidates clearly contradicted themselves. For such a supposedly superficial wound, it was hard to explain why Kerry still carried shrapnel in his body decades later. And that story, in a nutshell, represents the core of the thesis of The Political Brain.
The effect of the attacks and their impact on voter opinion was devastating. Research must be replicated in other laboratories unaffiliated with the original researcher. As a fiscal conservative and social liberal, I have found at least something to like about each Republican or Democrat I have met.
Results are vetted at professional conferences and in peer-reviewed journals. Disconfirmatory evidence, as well as contradictory interpretations of the data, must be included in the paper. The implications of the findings reach far beyond politics. Westen starts off by mentioning a study in which participants showed how people rationalize blatant contradictions by their favorite political candidates. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
He waited in dignified silence. We need similar controls for the confirmation bias in the arenas of law, business and politics. Republicans think elections are fought in the marketplace of emotions. Republicans think that the guy with the best story line that goes straight to the emotions of the voters wins. You'll also never listen to any political speech in quite the same way again.
There were a few problems here. Skepticism is the antidote for the confirmation bias. In science we have built-in self-correcting machinery.
Strict double-blind controls are required in experiments, in which neither the subjects nor the experimenters know the experimental conditions during the data-collection phase. Colleagues are rewarded for being skeptical. Politicians need a peer-review system. This surety is called the confirmation bias, whereby we seek and find confirmatory evidence in support of already existing beliefs and ignore or reinterpret disconfirmatory evidence.