This just in, people are irrational. Irrationality is often constructed on a platform of bias that can mold opinions into moored granite. Intractable bias also proves to override any sense of reason, as noted here from the American Psychological Association:
“One might agree, in theory, that people should base their economic decisions or judgments on rational expectations and forecasts. But a recent study of hindsight bias–the “I knew it all along” effect–in economic expectations found that people’s need to be right is stronger than their ability to be objective.”
The nascent forming of a bias is built around established pain we’ve endured. A social rejection that stings, or a cadre of people we’ve built a prejudice against supplies the emotional fuel for a bias, subsequently our defenses kick in and create a world view directly opposed to everything that group represents to us. Voilà, a bias is born.
Time goes by, and we collect information that repeatedly confirms that which we desire to be true and conversely rationalize away everything to the contrary. Eventually we form an entire identity around a bias, we pick political affiliations, and treat our designated ideas like they are sport; cheering on our team regardless of what any new evidence may suggest to the contrary.
When you’re butting up against with an established cognitive bias it’s impossible to provide evidence that won’t seem biased to the biased individual. They’ll project their own irrationality on to you, and accuse you of using all the absurd half truths they are using to maintain their position.
No matter what data, facts, logic, studies, empirical peer reviewed holy shit fuck that’s unconditionally correct evidence is presented it will be forever countered with a puerile “But I want to be right!” rationalization. It’s only fair to say we’re all human, and all capable of bias, however we’re also capable of rational thought.
As grown adults we should be able to identify the difference between a visceral emotion based reaction and a reasoned response. Educated Americans should have reached a maturity level where we can accept that we’re wrong. Admitting you’re wrong is anything but easy, however vital to drive social, economic, and political change.
A well reasoned populace should exorcise ego, and remove stringent blind affiliation from the debate. Topics at hand must be wholly about the topic at hand, and not about a personal desire to buoy our chosen team.