more education, more motivated reasoning

Musa al-Gharbi:

In fact, the more intelligenteducated, or rhetorically skilled one is, the less likely it becomes that someone will change their minds when confronted with evidence or arguments that challenge their priors. There are two big tendencies driving this phenomenon.

The first is that in virtue of knowing more about the world, or being better at arguing, etc. people are just better equipped to find ways of punching holes in inconvenient facts, or finding reasons to justify ‘sticking to their guns.’ Indeed, one becomes more likely to really enjoy arguing – and to engage in political research and arguments as a hobby — as they grow more intellectually and rhetorically capable.

Perhaps surprising, but also somewhat intuitive if you think about it, highly-educated or intelligent people tend to be far more ideological than the general public. They are more likely to be partisan, to be obsessed with some moral-political cause, or to use some intellectual framework or idealized model to interpret the world.

And while educated people may be less likely to discriminate against others on the basis of factors like race, they are significantly more likely to be prejudiced against people who think differently than them, or hold different ideological commitments.

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January 6, 2021

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