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There have been psychological studies which show that a fraction of the population is drawn to certainty and they get this through following strong leaders. I've cited Robert Altemeyer's studies on this several times.

This week there is a report out that conservatives brains actually function differently than liberals:

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-politics10sep10,0,5982337.story

My second point: sometimes the "truth" is unknowable or unknowable at the time. A typical example is what course of treatment to follow for a person with a certain disease. This is why people go for "second opinions". OK, now you have two options, how do you choose?

There is also the issue of expecting a leader to deal with challenges that haven't happened yet. Would Kerry have dealt with Katrina better? Would the possibility of a Katrina happening have been a useful test when voting?

It is the unknowable which makes many people decide things on the basis of trust or "gut feeling". I don't see any way around this.


Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Mon Sep 10th, 2007 at 10:27:36 AM EST

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