Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Gut Feelings and Political Choice — Rockridge Nation

Thinking Points Discussion: Gut Feelings and Political Choice — Rockridge Nation:

Conservatives have been very successful at tainting progressive concepts. Progressives need to learn how this works so we can protect ourselves and advance our ideas at the same time. In this article, the second in a series on political preference, I would like to share how feelings of 'goodness' or 'badness' perform this important role in making decisions.

Last week I introduced the phenomenon called 'loss aversion' that steers people toward maintaining the status quo (even if it is harmful to them). The implications of this status quo bias for progressive efforts to change politics are paramount. The critical component of loss aversion that I would like to elaborate on now is the way unconscious 'gut feelings' bias our preferences. The right-wing spin wizard Frank Luntz understands this well when he talks about which words conservatives should use to keep people from caring about the climate crisis:

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