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Wed Jul 22, 2020, 12:02 PM

'The Whole of Liberal Democracy Is in Grave Danger at This Moment'

Trump’s America has accelerated “the authoritarian dynamic.”

In the continuing debate over whether liberals or conservatives are more open minded, whether those on the left or the right are more rigid in their thinking, a team of four Canadian psychologists studied patterns of “cognitive reflection” among Americans.

They found that a willingness to change one’s convictions in the face of new evidence
was robustly associated with political liberalism, the rejection of traditional moral values, the acceptance of science, and skepticism about religious, paranormal, and conspiratorial claims.

Those who ranked high on a scale designed to measure the level of a respondent’s “actively open-minded thinking about evidence” were linked with the acceptance of “anthropogenic global warming and support for free speech on college campuses.”

Conversely, the authors — Gordon Pennycook of the University of Regina, and James Allan Cheyne, Derek J. Koehler and Jonathan A. Fugelsang of the University of Waterloo — found that an aversion to altering one’s belief on the basis of evidence was more common among conservatives and that this correlated “with beliefs about topics ranging from extrasensory perception, to respect for tradition, to abortion, to God.”


We have been in a culture war in this country for the past 50 years, and Trump and the Republicans aim to turn it into a shooting war.

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