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View Diary: NRA's Porter "This is not a battle about gun rights", It's a "Culture War" (40 comments)

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  •  Mind vs. Heart (1+ / 0-)
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    gravlax

    Brain science and other studies point to the fact that we humans are motivated by visceral and emotional appeals. Reason follows afterwards, to 'rationalize' and explain what just happened.

    Facts and Reason don't move people.

    Culture Wars work very well because, on top of everything, there is tribal affinity.

    We will win more if we promote our values of fairness, democracy, etc.

    I'm not articulate today. sorry.
    References:
    ~ BRAIN

    Academic ‘Dream Team’ Helped Obama’s Effort
    Published: November 12, 2012
    When it comes to countering rumors, psychologists have found that the best strategy is not to deny the charge (“I am not a flip-flopper”) but to affirm a competing notion. “The denial works in the short term; but in the long term people remember only the association, like ‘Obama and Muslim,’ ” said Dr. Fox, of the persistent false rumor.
    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    David Ropeik, instructor of risk perception and risk communication at the Harvard School of Public Health:    "The part [of the brain] that sets off the fight or flight response gets the information before the parts that think," he said. "So we're built to fear first and think second ... At this point in our evolution, the wiring and chemistry of the brain assures that emotion and instinct can easily overpower reason in the ongoing response."
    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/...

    SOROS Quotation--see:
    “The Science of Propaganda”
    Great forum with George Lakoff and others.... view or listen online:

    http://www.c-spanarchives.org/...

    The book:
    http://www.powells.com/...

    "What Orwell Didn't Know: Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics"
    Edited by ANDRÁS SZÁNTÓ

    "As Lakoff tells us,

    'A few words in political language can activate large portions of the brain: War on Terror, tax relief, illegal immigration, entitlements (turned to conservative use by Ronald Reagan), death tax, property rights, abortion on demand, cut and run, flip-flop, school choice, intelligent design, spending programs, partial birth abortion, surge, spreading freedom, private accounts, individual responsibility, energy independence.

    When they are repeated every day, extensive areas of the brain are activated over and over, and this leads to brain change. Unerasable brain change…. And every time the words are repeated, all the frames and metaphors and worldview structures are activated again and strengthened -- because recurring activation strengthens neural connections. Negation doesn't help. "I'm against the War on Terror" just activates the War on Terror metaphor and strengthens what you're against. Accepting the language of issue and arguing the other side just hurts your own cause.'

    Drew Westen, a psychology professor and political consultant, supports Lakoff's statements as well as his contention that in America these techniques have been exploited far more intelligently by the political right than by the center and left, which are hampered by what Soros calls "the Enlightenment fallacy" -- that is, the fallacious assumption (dating from the 18th century) that freedom of thought and speech will ensure that reason will prevail. The media and the Democratic leadership, Westen says, are unwittingly "smuggling Trojan horses into popular discourse" by parroting terminology created by those in power, "essentially advertising the 'product line' of the Republican party and selling its 'brand.' "

    From Barnes & Noble book review by Brooke Allen:
    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/...

    George Lakoff, an author and professor of linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley who calls himself a "cognitive activist," says this: "One of the fundamental findings of cognitive science is that people think in terms of frames and metaphors – conceptual structures. The frames are in the synapses of our brains – physically present in the form of neural circuitry. When the facts don't fit the frames, the frames are kept and the facts ignored."
    In other words, forget winning on the facts or the science. It's all about the story. And once stories take hold, they're hard to dislodge. "
    http://www.alternet.org/...

    ----------------------------------
    "It goes against our nature; but the left has to start asserting its own values"
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

    SNIPPET:
    . . . . . Common Cause, written by Tom Crompton of the environment group WWF, examines a series of fascinating recent advances in the field of psychology. It offers, I believe, a remedy to the blight that now afflicts every good cause from welfare to climate change.

    Progressives, he shows, have been suckers for a myth of human cognition he labels the enlightenment model. This holds that people make rational decisions by assessing facts. All that has to be done to persuade people is to lay out the data: they will then use it to decide which options best support their interests and desires.

    A host of psychological experiments demonstrate that it doesn't work like this. Instead of performing a rational cost-benefit analysis, we accept information that confirms our identity and values, and reject information that conflicts with them. We mould our thinking around our social identity, protecting it from serious challenge. Confronting people with inconvenient facts is likely only to harden their resistance to change.

    SNIP

    Our social identity is formed by a mixture of values. But psychological tests in nearly 70 countries show that values cluster in remarkably consistent patterns. Those who strongly value financial success, for example, have less empathy, stronger manipulative tendencies, a stronger attraction to hierarchy and inequality, stronger prejudices towards strangers and less concern about human rights and the environment. Those with a strong sense of self-acceptance have more empathy and greater concern for human rights, social justice and the environment. These values suppress each other: the stronger someone's extrinsic aspirations, the weaker his or her intrinsic goals.

    We are not born with our values. They are shaped by the social environment. By changing our perception of what is normal and acceptable, politics alters our minds as much as our circumstances.

    Writing in The New York Times in 1971 and surveying the problem of intolerance and violence worldwide, Dr.[Paul] MacLean found that “language barriers among nations present great obstacles.”

    “But the greatest language barrier,” he concluded, “lies between man and his animal brains; the neural machinery does not exist for intercommunication in verbal terms.”
    Neuroscientist Who Devised ‘Triune Brain’ Theory

    ~
    This Is Your Brain on Metaphors
    By ROBERT SAPOLSKY
    SNIP
    "Jonathan Haidt, of the University of Virginia, has shown how viscera and emotion often drive our decisionmaking, with conscious cognition mopping up afterward, trying to come up with rationalizations for that gut decision. .. . ."
    SNIP
    "Nelson Mandela was wrong when he advised, “Don’t talk to their minds; talk to their hearts.” He meant talk to their insulas and cingulate cortices and all those other confused brain regions, because that confusion could help make for a better world."

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/...

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