Political Research and Male Relationships
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« on: December 27, 2016, 05:35:46 am »

So I was just reading a new post by Digby on her blog


about a New Yorker piece on biases and such when this next topic line and paragraph stopped me short:

Dan Kahan’s “Cultural Cognition”

     Over the last decade, Dan Kahan, a psychologist at Yale University, has been studying a phenomenon he calls “cultural cognition,” or how values shape perception of risk and policy beliefs. One of his insights is that people often engage in something called “identity-protective cognition.” They process information in a way that protects their idea of themselves. Incongruous information is discarded, and supporting information is eagerly retained. Our memory actually ends up skewed: we are better able to process and recall the facts that we are motivated to process and recall, while conveniently forgetting those that we would prefer weren’t true.

Maybe it's just me, but after I'd read that a couple of times because it was kinda disguised as a sleeping pill, I thought about the popular "God, Was I Drunk Last Night" hypothesis. It's such a classic response in fiction (and porn and serious dramas as well) that for all I know it actually happens in real life.

But without resorting to cliche, it's hard enough to deal with some experiences-- good, bad, or confused-- even without traditional bad-faith denialism. I thought this guy might find the same dynamic working in cases of men in the process of "curious" about some things and what to do when they have been curious enough. So who are they now? And are you guys still friends or what?

Anyway, there is a discussion of "confirmation bias" and a number of other studies that apply in the realm of political issues and might have some implications for understanding what and how straight men explore their attraction for other men, which may be universal and real but not so readily acknowledged.

The New Yorker story is here: http://tinyurl.com/gm3445h


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