Study: You Literally Can’t Even Pay People to Read Opinions They Disagree With

Like children, voters place their hands over their own ears and yell “not listening!”

People are so conditioned to avoid contrary viewpoints that they will actually forego an opportunity to win more money if it requires them to read something with which they disagree.

That’s according to a fascinating—and deeply depressing—study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

The study gave participants two options: they could read an article about same-sex marriage that matched their own perspective, or they could read an article about same-sex marriage that contradicted their views on the subject. They were told that if they selected the article with which they disagreed, they would be entered in a drawing to win $10. But if they selected the more comforting, self-affirming article, they would only stand to win $7.

“You’d think everyone would want to win more money, right?” wrote Vox‘s Brian Resnick in his write-up of the study. Resnick is right—I did think that….continue reading

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