Navigation Links
Your Surroundings Mirror Your Beliefs
Date:7/1/2009

People find safety in those who think the same way, research contends

WEDNESDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Whatever you believe, new research suggests that you're likely to surround yourself with others who feel the same way, whether they be friends or talking heads on television.

"Never having any contact with the other side is a very safe way of protecting your beliefs. It's a little bit primitive, but successful," said study co-author Dolores Albarracin, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Albarracin and colleagues from the University of Florida, Northwestern University and Ohio University reviewed 91 previous studies on how people deal with information that confirms or contradicts their opinions. Their analysis appears in the July issue of the journal Psychological Bulletin.

The new study confirmed that people have "a moderate preference for information that confirms their points of view. It is sometimes attenuated, but for the most part it tends to be there," Albarracin said.

Overall, the studies asked people whether they wanted to view or read information that either upheld their point of view or opposed it. The researchers found that people were twice as likely to seek out supporting material than contradictory material. And they were especially likely to seek out confirming opinions on such topics as religion, politics or ethics, Albarracin said.

Researchers have debated this topic for some time, trying to figure out exactly why people don't tend to be exposed to contradicting points of view, Albarracin noted.

"One argument is that it's not that you are purposefully trying to seek confirmation: if you are a Democrat, you're more likely to be surrounded by Democratic information," she said. "The other point of view is that it is by choice. It makes you feel a lot better to confirm what you already believe than risk feeling like a fool or confused, having these more uncertain feelings."

But there are exceptions, she added. "One class of folks are what we called 'defensively confident,'" she said, noting that they will actively seek out opposing points of view.

"These are the folks who like to go into debate," she added. "They feel super-confident. They go and read anything and refute it."

On the other hand, people with the most firm beliefs are less likely to seek out other opinions. "The more dogmatic and close-minded you are, the worse the bias is," Albarracin said.

Michael Young, an associate professor of psychology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, noted that the study itself is revealing: it points to examples of bias toward conservatism -- including mentions of Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney -- without looking at the other side.

"It is always easier for us to identify these biases that suggest close-mindedness in others than it is to identify them in ourselves or those who agree with us, even if you are a scientist who studies bias," he said.

Peter H. Ditto, a psychology professor at the University of California at Irvine, said the study "confirms a lot of previous scientific work -- and conforms nicely to most people's intuitions."

Ditto said, "We are not rational information processors -- or information seekers. We perceive ourselves as seekers of the truth. We don't try to just seek out information that will confirm our beliefs, otherwise we would see our own illicit hand in constructing a biased truth. But when we go looking for the truth, we usually look toward places and people that are likely to believe as we believe."

More information

Trinity University has more on social psychology.



SOURCES: Dolores Albarracin, Ph.D., professor of psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Peter H. Ditto, Ph.D., professor of psychology, University of California at Irvine; Michael Young, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; July 2009 Psychological Bulletin


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Spouses often mirror each others health habits
2. PARADE Magazine Features Smart Genetics and Alzheimers Mirror
3. Salivary diagnostics, the magic mirror to your health ... at your personal computer
4. Sideline Rage Triggers Mirror Those of Angry Drivers
5. Cultural Beliefs May Keep Blacks From Hospice Care
6. Spiritual Beliefs Part of Health Care for Some
7. Iowa State study finds moms beliefs may impact their kids alcohol use
8. New Alzheimers Disease Survey Reveals Disparities Between Beliefs and Behavior in Pursuing Diagnosis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Your Surroundings Mirror Your Beliefs
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... ... Rejuvenation" at the 2016 Anti-Aging & Beauty Awards at The Aesthetic & ... & Anti-aging Medicine European Congress (AMEC) brings together the industry’s leading scientific ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Metabolic Code (MC) ... nutraceuticals and help doctors more efficiently manage their practice. Power2Practice is adding ... platform for Integrative and Functional Medicine. , The Metabolic Code platform provides ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... ... 2016 , ... While James Earl Jones is known for myriad roles on ... called "Front Page". One of the forthcoming episodes examines mammogram techniques; a very important ... large part due to early detection. Like any other disease, treatments have a much ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... December 04, 2016 ... ... lower third presets that have new attractive animation styles with unique displacement design ... Displace features 30 pre-animated lower third designs. Choose from a variety of design ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 04, 2016 , ... Responsible dental ... One must brush properly to achieve optimal results. This important necessity inspired an inventor ... need for a way to ensure that people break or avoid bad techniques of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)...  Wellbridge Health and Gateway Health proudly announce a dynamic ... and Medicaid plan members with specific high risk needs. ... of this group of consumers, Wellbridge combines technology and population ... insight into members, daily behaviors and lifestyle. ... , , ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... , Dec. 5, 2016  New research ... ) Research Institute and the U.S. Department of ... Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), published online ... that automated pharmacy notifications encourage patients with chronic ... natural disaster. The study also affirms that public-private ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... VEGAS , Dec. 5, 2016  BD (Becton, ... leading global medical technology company, will demonstrate an enhanced ... medication management technologies, including the company,s leading Pyxis™ and ... Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) 2016 Midyear Meeting being held ... 4-8. While national data show that approximately ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: