Ronald Bailey on How Smart Liberals, Conservatives, and Libertarians Are Especially Prone to Fooling Themselves


When it's right brain or left brian, it's often just wrong brain.

The Yale Cultural Cognition Project has issued a fascinating new working paper, "Ideology, Motivated Reasoning, and Cognitive Reflection: An Experimental Study" that seeks to explain the sources of ideological polarization over societal risks like climate change, gun violence, and nuclear power. Are people misled by heuristics adopted from their peers; subject to rightwing neo-authoritarian tendencies; or just trying to protect their sense of social identity?

Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey delves into the study to find that when it comes to ideology, the smarter you are, the easier it is for you to fool yourself.