Thursday, September 30, 2010

Scientific Explanation for Why People Believe Obama is Muslim

The largest disaster here is that people dislike Muslims. The second disaster is the mainstream media blows up and perpetuates lies. It gives us he said she said accounts, instead of reporting facts. The media, in an effort to stay in business, has strayed into sensationalistic journalism.
The research by Spee Kosloff and colleagues suggests people are most likely to accept such falsehoods, both consciously and unconsciously, when subtle clues remind them of ways in which Obama is different from them, whether because of race, social class or other ideological differences.
These judgments, Kosloff argues, are irrational. He also suggests they are fueled by an "irresponsible" media culture that allows political pundits and "talking heads" to perpetuate the lies.
"Careless or biased media outlets are largely responsible for the propagation of these falsehoods, which catch on like wildfire," said Kosloff, visiting assistant professor of psychology. "And then social differences can motivate acceptance of these lies."

"When people are unsatisfied with the president -- whether it's the way he's handling the economy, health care or Afghanistan -- our research suggests that this only fuels their readiness to accept untrue rumors," Kosloff said.
"As his job rating goes down, suggesting that people feel like he's not ideologically on their side, we see an increase in this irrational belief that he's a Muslim," he added. "Unfortunately, in America, many people dislike Muslims so they'll label Obama as Muslim when they feel different from him." Read it all at Science Daily