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Study Shows That People Use ‘Desirability Bias’ to Filter What News They Believe

What’s going on?

Breaking: People don’t like news that contradicts what they believe.

But here’s the bigger problem: People are not only more likely to dismiss news that contradicts their beliefs, but also prone to using news that supports their political or ideological leanings as evidence. This double standard played out in a University of London study following the 2016 election.

Show me the bias …

Researchers surveyed 900 Americans and found that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton supporters were both likely to change their prediction of the election based on what national polling they were shown. If the poll fit with the result the participants wanted, they were more likely to base their answer on that poll.

Bloomberg reported:

“The main result was clear: Both Trump and Clinton voters were far more likely to change their beliefs when the new information fit with their desires. They found the polls credible, and a reason to change their views, only if they suggested that their preferred candidate would win.”

Glenn’s take:

Unfortunately, people too often aren’t driven by facts – they’re influenced by the biases that they bring in to any conversation.

“The lesson for politics is really clear,” Glenn said. “If you want to persuade people, you have to get them to want to agree with you.”

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: Good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first? According to researchers from the University of London, it doesn't really matter which one you hear first. Good news or bad news, it doesn't matter. You're more likely to believe the good news on something called the desirability bias.

Desirability bias is when you consider information more credible because it makes you feel good. It helps explain the whole social media fake news phenomena. When you see something -- it's not confirmation bias -- it's desirability bias, that is actually more difficult and more troubling.

Researchers at the university of London set up a study just before the 2016 presidential election, and they took 900 voters, who were diehard Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump fans.

And they asked them, which one do you support, and which one is going to win? Researchers then separated the voters into the two groups.

They gave the first group polling results that indicated that Trump would win. And the second group resulting in Hillary's win.

With this new information, they were asked, who do you think is going to win?

The result of the study was clear: The desirability bias changes people's minds. People believed the polling results that were given only when their poll indicated that their candidate would win. They would even change it, if their candidate was shown to be winning in a strong poll, even if they thought Clinton might win, they changed it. And they dug their heels in.

So what does all of this mean?

It means that we are listening to the things that let us believe the things we want to believe.

The lesson for politics is really clear, and it's something that is a lost art now on both sides of the aisle.

If you want to persuade people, you have to get them to want to agree with you. This is the biggest problem now. People become monsters and pariahs. And they -- and strident. And so nobody wants -- you don't -- you don't like them. You don't want to agree with them.

Reagan was a guy who really understood this. He was called the great communicator. He won 49 states in the '84 election. And that's because he said things that people wanted to believe.

Now we can't fathom a candidate appealing across the aisle. In fact, I think if you see a candidate that tries to appeal to the other side, you immediately mark them as a traitor. We saw Obama supporters blinded by the desirability bias for eight years. They would not believe reports about the IRS. That he was using the IRS, because they didn't want to believe that.

Now we're seeing the same thing with the Trump base. We have to move past this concept of the presidency as the ultimate bully pulpit.

It's not what the executive office was designed to be. And it will not help heal our divisions.

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Let’s thank the Pilgrims for defeating Socialism this Thanksgiving

This year marks the four hundredth anniversary of the first Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims and their Wampanoag allies in 1621. Tragically, nearly half of the Pilgrims had died by famine and disease during their first year. However, they had been met by native Americans such as Samoset and Squanto who miraculously spoke English and taught the Pilgrims how to survive in the New World. That fall the Pilgrims, despite all the hardships, found much to praise God for and they were joined by Chief Massasoit and his ninety braves came who feasted and celebrated for three days with the fifty or so surviving Pilgrims.

It is often forgotten, however, that after the first Thanksgiving everything was not smooth sailing for the Pilgrims. Indeed, shortly thereafter they endured a time of crop failure and extreme difficulties including starvation and general lack. But why did this happen? Well, at that time the Pilgrims operated under what is called the "common storehouse" system. In its essence it was basically socialism. People were assigned jobs and the fruits of their labor would be redistributed throughout the people not based on how much work you did but how much you supposedly needed.

The problem with this mode of economics is that it only fails every time. Even the Pilgrims, who were a small group with relatively homogeneous beliefs were unable to successfully operate under a socialistic system without starvation and death being only moments away. Governor William Bradford explained that under the common storehouse the people began to "allege weakness and inability" because no matter how much or how little work someone did they still were given the same amount of food. Unsurprisingly this, "was found to breed much confusion and discontent."[1]

The Pilgrims, however, were not the type of people to keep doing what does not work. And so, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery."[2] And, "after much debate of things" the Pilgrims under the direction of William Bradford, decided that each family ought to "trust to themselves" and keep what they produced instead of putting it into a common storehouse.[3] In essence, the Pilgrims decided to abandon the socialism which had led them to starvation and instead adopt the tenants of the free market.

And what was the result of this change? Well, according to Bradford, this change of course, "had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been."[4] Eventually, the Pilgrims became a fiscally successful colony, paid off their enormous debt, and founded some of the earliest trading posts with the surrounding Indian tribes including the Aptucxet, Metteneque, and Cushnoc locations. In short, it represented one of the most significant economic revolutions which determined the early characteristics of the American nation.

The Pilgrims, of course, did not simply invent these ideas out of thin air but they instead grew out of the intimate familiarity the Pilgrims had with the Bible. The Scriptures provide clear principles for establishing a successful economic system which the Pilgrims looked to. For example, Proverbs 12:11 says, "He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread." So the Pilgrims purchased land from the Indians and designated lots for every family to individually grow food for themselves. After all, 1 Timothy 5:8 declares, "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

We often think that the battle against Socialism is a new fight sprouting out of the writings of Karl Marx which are so blindly and foolishly followed today by those deceived by leftist irrationality. However, America's fight against the evil of socialism goes back even to our very founding during the colonial period. Thankfully, our forefathers decided to reject the tenants of socialism and instead build their new colony upon the ideology of freedom, liberty, hard work, and individual responsibility.

So, this Thanksgiving, let's thank the Pilgrims for defeating socialism and let us look to their example today in our ongoing struggle for freedom.

[1] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 135.

[2] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 134.

[3] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 134.

[4] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 135.

THE GLENN BECK PODCAST

EcoHealth Alliance's Peter Daszak: Hero or Villain? | Matt Ridley | Ep 126

Like most people, science journalist Matt Ridley just wants the truth. When it comes to the origin of COVID-19, that is a tall order. Was it human-made? Did it leak from a laboratory? What is the role of gain-of-function research? Why China, why now? Ridley's latest book, "Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19," is a scientific quest to answer these questions and more. A year ago, you would have been kicked off Facebook for suggesting COVID originated in a lab. For most of the pandemic, the Left practically worshipped Anthony Fauci. But lately, people have been poking around. And one of the names that appears again and again is Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance and a longtime collaborator and funder of the virus-hunting work at Wuhan Institute of Virology. In this episode of the Glenn Beck Podcast, Matt reveals the whole tangled web.

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I have one simple rule for anyone who wants to restore our nation. We will not settle for private patriotism and public compliance. The tyranny ends with us. Anyone who believes in the truth, please join me.

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Crimes or Cover-Up? Exposing the World’s Most Dangerous Lie

COVID-19 changed everything. The way we live our lives, how we operate our businesses, how we see each other. And now, the federal government is sinking its tendrils even deeper, threatening the fabric not only of our bodily autonomy, but of the republic.

Our American way of life may never be the same. To save it, we must understand the key fundamentals of the pandemic that transfigured our society into the nightmare it is today. What is the COVID-19 origin story? Who are its top players in government and science, pulling the strings? What was their REAL response in the first days of the pandemic? The answers to these questions are frightening.

Emails, documents, and federal contracts tell a dark story that is still dominating our lives. It's time to cast a light on the shocking truth. Because only with the truth can we emerge from the darkness of this "pandemic" and take back the liberty stolen from us.

This is Glenn Beck's most important chalkboard of his life. And the most pivotal time in yours.

Watch the full special below:

View the research and supporting documents for this special here.

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