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View Diary: Authoritarians at the Gate (146 comments)

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  •  Yes and no then (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Stratton, Larsstephens

    Emotionally stunted equates to "challenged" in my book, anyway.
    As does holding diametrically opposing opinions and judgments and not recognizing the fallacy of such thinking.

    Purposefully wearing blinders is not smart.

    Mostly due to upbringing in authoritarian households and churches I imagine.

    The dire straits facing America are not due poor people having too much money

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:42:56 PM PST

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    •  I agree, but... (3+ / 0-)

      it is a mistake to think  they're all just a bunch of mouth-breathing dumbasses. There are people like this who can get into the top schools in the nation. As the author points out, exposure to facts doesn't affect them. Why should memorization of facts matter?

      They'll tell their professors what they need to about Charles Darwin to get a passing grade, then go right on thinking he's part of an evil liberal conspiracy against Jesus.

      You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

      by Eric Stratton on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:47:44 PM PST

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      •  this thread (3+ / 0-)

        AP and ES - You're tapping into what is for me, one of the most fascinating aspects of the topic. It seems that the main thing that determines which end of the authoritarian dimension one lands is a function of how one comes to deal with novelty and conflict resolution. Andrea Kuszewski's article in Discover Magazine provides a window into this area. If one looks at what goes on in various parts of peoples' brains when they have to deal with novel situations or conflict resolution situations, it turns out that there are two different ways peoples' brains react. One way is when the primitive part of the brain that deals with threat/novelty/challenge controls a person's response. The other is when the part of the brain that evaluates risks and consequences controls the response. Contrast a knee-jerk reaction to a strategic response.

        We know that high RWAs do not do well in unfamiliar or challenging situations . . . From all of the literature available - from social psychology, political psychology, moral psychology, political neurophysiology and cognitive neurophysiology . . . nonauthoritarians have the cognitive functionality that allows them to deal with novel situations and come up with solutions on the fly. On the other hand, authoritarians have to respond reflexively. If they don't have a built-in response to the situation, they have to either turtle-up or fall back to the support of the in-group. It probably doesn't pass through their verbal processing unit, but situations for which they have no pre-programmed response are immediately threatening. Thus they have to fall back to their in-group.

        So the problem does not lie with their "factoid processing unit." They can be smart as hell. They could be Steven Hawkings, but if they are confronted with a situation for which they are not prepared, they're up the creek. And the more intelligent they are, the more they can appreciate how far up the creek they really are . . .

        As long as they are in a non-threatening situation and can stay on-script, they're fine. They just can't ad-lib.

        "The water won't clear up 'til we get the hogs out of the creek." -- Jim Hightower

        by lartwielder on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:38:19 AM PST

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