13 January 2007

american sheep

from an interesting article (thanks, Mike) about a study that links behavior established at an early age to later political leanings:
If we are so suggestible that thoughts of death make us uncomfortable defaming the American flag and cause us to sit farther away from foreigners, is there any way we can overcome our easily manipulated fears and become the informed and rational thinkers democracy demands?

"People have two modes of thought," concludes Solomon. "There's the intuitive gut-level mode, which is what most of us are in most of the time. And then there's a rational analytic mode, which takes effort and attention."

The solution, then, is remarkably simple. The effects of psychological terror on political decision making can be eliminated just by asking people to think rationally. Simply reminding us to use our heads, it turns out, can be enough to make us do it.

why is it that Joe Public is an irrational sheep when it comes time to pull the lever? maybe people don't realize just how manipulative politicians are.

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