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View Diary: Dear bigoted lady I work with: (151 comments)

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  •  Fear is a big part of it. (6+ / 0-)

    But another part of it is just an unwillingness to discard, or even reexamine, what we think we know.  I don't feel that it's accurate to characterize that unwillingness as fear exactly; it's not coming from quite the same emotional place as "if this isn't true, then that means I've been wrong, and that would be terrible."  It's barely coming from an emotional place at all; it's just a very deep-seated reluctance that almost everybody has, and it also sits at the core of such things as (f'rinstance) confirmation bias.  Even people who actively enjoy having their preconceptions challenged can have trouble with that.

    •  Actually, (8+ / 0-)

      being proven wrong on a core concept of your identity has exactly the same biological and psychic effect on a person as does, say, being threatened with death, rape, or mutilation.

      Identity crises arise all the time from such things.

      Bear in mind, I'm paraphrasing a great deal of material into a few pithy sentences, and as such, much may be lost in the translation.  I know we have quite a large number of Psych Kossites...anyone care to chime in?

      "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level, and beat you with experience every time." --Unknown

      by Subwoofer of the House on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 12:16:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, that's certainly true. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA, Tom Anderson, Steve Canella, GAS

        And fear would absolutely be a big part of that kind of thing.  That's the sort that is coming from the emotional place of "if I'm wrong, then that would be terrible."

        But people can have immense trouble changing their minds even on things that aren't core concepts of their identity.  Even on things that they're not emotionally invested in at all.  Like -- I'm trying to think of a better example, but this is the only one to come to mind -- like the old canard about how bumblebees shouldn't be physically able to fly.

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