Exploiting Conservative Cognitive Bias

Conservative ideology, as Perlstein persuasively argues, is particularly vulnerable to grifters because of its faith in the goodness of business and its concomitant hostility toward regulation—which makes it easy for true believers to buy into the notion that some modern Edison has a miraculous new invention that the Washington elite is conniving to suppress. In Perlstein’s words, “The strategic alliance of snake-oil vendors and conservative true believers points up evidence of another successful long march, of tactics designed to corral fleeceable multitudes all in one place—and the formation of a cast of mind that makes it hard for either them or us to discern where the ideological con ended and the money con began.”

There’s another factor at work here: The anti-intellectualism that has been a mainstay of the conservative movement for decades also makes its members easy marks. After all, if you are taught to believe that the reigning scientific consensuses on evolution and climate change are lies, then you will lack the elementary logical skills that will set your alarm bells ringing when you hear a flim-flam artist like Trump. The Republican “war on science” is also a war on the intellectual habits needed to detect lies.


Folksonomies: ideology confirmation bias cognitive bias

/society/unrest and war (0.318936)
/religion and spirituality (0.153011)
/science (0.120053)

Bias Conservative ideology (0.919455 (neutral:0.000000)), conservative true believers (0.824970 (positive:0.222565)), miraculous new invention (0.781866 (positive:0.771151)), corral fleeceable multitudes (0.769990 (negative:-0.447256)), members easy marks (0.655355 (positive:0.319751)), elementary logical skills (0.646371 (positive:0.267484)), concomitant hostility (0.562709 (positive:0.771151)), Perlstein’s words (0.541324 (neutral:0.000000)), conservative movement (0.504356 (positive:0.319751)), snake-oil vendors (0.482893 (positive:0.222565)), modern Edison (0.467410 (positive:0.771151)), Washington elite (0.450335 (positive:0.771151)), flim-flam artist (0.438128 (positive:0.267484)), strategic alliance (0.421579 (positive:0.222565)), alarm bells (0.406725 (positive:0.267484)), intellectual habits (0.400846 (negative:-0.638400)), scientific consensuses (0.393426 (positive:0.323457)), climate change (0.391476 (positive:0.323457)), lies (0.245311 (negative:-0.314944)), grifters (0.218983 (positive:0.771151))

Perlstein:Person (0.751787 (positive:0.588236)), climate change:FieldTerminology (0.419710 (positive:0.323457)), Edison:Company (0.415961 (positive:0.771151)), Trump:Person (0.375364 (positive:0.267484)), Washington:StateOrCounty (0.371257 (positive:0.771151))

Intellectual (0.931474): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
French Revolution (0.885129): dbpedia | freebase
Science (0.880593): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Ideology (0.841831): dbpedia | freebase
Critical thinking (0.816791): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Marxism (0.763774): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Thought (0.741243): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Republican Party (0.740145): website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago

 Conservatives Have Groomed the Perfect Suckers for Trump’s Epic Scam
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Heer, Jeet (June 28, 2016), Conservatives Have Groomed the Perfect Suckers for Trump’s Epic Scam, New Republic, Retrieved on 2016-07-08
  • Source Material [newrepublic.com]
  • Folksonomies: rhetoric ideology cognitive bias