Friday, 23 July 2010

The wisdom of John Curtin

In today's AFR, Mark Latham quoted John Curtin:
If, from time to time, a policy is not favoured by the majority of the people, there is no reason why the things we fight for should be put aside to curry favour with any sections of the people. I say to you that, in the period I have been leader, I have always believed that the movement has to make up its mind what is the right thing to do and, no matter what the daily press says of any section of the community might say, we must go on fighting.

Believe it or not, you're probably wrong

Selected quotes from an interesting article by Jason Murphy in today's AFR:
US research published in the Journal of Political Behaviour has found new information has as much chance of dislodging an existing belief as the Greens have of winning a lower house majority.
Research subjects "failed to update their beliefs when presented with corrective information that runs counter to their predispositions."

But that's not all. Nyhan told the AFR that correcting some people makes them even more sure they were right all along and can even strenghten misperceptions among the most strongly committed.

People who were are more educated or politically knowledgeable tend to have fewer false beliefs but Nyhan points out they may also be the ones "best able to resisit information they don't want to accept"