Motivated Cognition For Dummies
This may be one of the stupidest article I've ever read. Apparently, Andrew Breitbart isn't a racist, he's just a victim of "motivated cognition."
There is very little evidence, if any, that Sarah Palin hates teachers, or that Andrew Breitbart is a racist. Yet a recent flood of viral stories propagated by internet journalists allegedly catch prominent conservatives red-handed in acts of hate.
The flurry of finger-pointing, both of prejudice against Palin and Breitbart, and the counterclaims of conspiracy against the "liberal media," misses the hidden puppet master causing the scandals: a powerful psychological tendency for ideologues unwittingly to distort facts to fit their preconceived biases.
The official psychological term for this behavior is "motivated cognition" -- a tendency to bias our interpretation of facts to fit a version of the world we wish to believe is true. For instance, one study found that college basketball fans, viewing the same video of a game, were likely to believe the rival team committed at least twice as many fouls as their own...
Motivated cognition seems as likely an explanation of Breitbart's poor video editing as do allegations that he is a racist.
Evidently, "motive" and "cognition" can't be racist. Oy.