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Motivated Reasoning

Citizenship in a Digital Era

Lindsay Hoffman | Posted 05.15.2013 | College
Lindsay Hoffman

In an era where we face a daily deluge of online petitions, emails from candidates, and provocative political tweets, what does it mean to be a citizen?

Rethinking How We Talk About the Bully: Defusing the Arch-Enemy of the Interconnected 21st Century

Russell C. Smith | Posted 02.04.2013 | Impact
Russell C. Smith

The web has exposed humanity's most damaging tendencies to engage in cruelty and dehumanization.

Why Late Campaign News Is Likely to Have Little Effect

Brian Schaffner | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Brian Schaffner

A good example of how voters process new information during a campaign comes from a UMass poll we conducted in early October.

Lying Politicians, and the Difference Between Being Lied TO, and Lied FOR

David Ropeik | Posted 10.31.2012 | Politics
David Ropeik

Political conventions are like the camp fire on the night before battle (or the day before the big game), when the chieftains rally the troops, impassion the tribe, fire up the true believers, or, as politicians might put it, appeal to the base. Neither conventions nor politics are for truth.

Climate Problem? What Climate Problem?

Rick Horowitz | Posted 10.28.2012 | Politics
Rick Horowitz

"Isaac Churns Toward New Orleans." "Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low, Scientists Say." "Severe Drought Afflicts Nation." "July 2012 Hottest Month on Rec...

Denial of Facts Is No Way to Understand Science

James Hoggan | Posted 02.06.2012 | Green
James Hoggan

There was a time when I couldn't understand what motivated writers like Margaret Wente to stand so firmly against such clear and solid science. The psychology of "confirmation bias" has provided the answer for me.

Scientific Freedom, False Positives and the Fountain of Youth

Wray Herbert | Posted 12.20.2011 | Healthy Living
Wray Herbert

"Chronological rejuvenation" is psychological jargon for the Fountain of Youth, that elusive tonic that, when we find it, will reverse the aging proce...