NY Times: Partisan thought is unconscious
From the Paper of Record (and other things):
Using M.R.I. scanners, neuroscientists have now tracked what happens in the politically partisan brain when it tries to digest damning facts about favored candidates or criticisms of them. The process is almost entirely emotional and unconscious, the researchers report, and there are flares of activity in the brain’s pleasure centers when unwelcome information is being rejected.
There’s a lot more here, and it’s really good.
This seems applicable to baseball thought, and particularly the “camps” debate.
From personal experience, I immediately thought of the stadium debate, when I didn’t know enough about it and was too emotionally tied up in it. You can go back and look through the Usenet archives and see me running around acting like a goat, and while the other side wasn’t conducting itself particularly politely, I look back on some of it now and think “that one guy made a perfectly logical series of arguments, and I just really angry about it.”
The realization that untoward belief in one side or another can lead to an weird state of dedicated ignorance unsettled me, and I think it’s played a big part in my long and rocky development as a writer.
Anyway, it’s interesting to ponder.