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Political Smackdown: What's Said vs. What's Heard

Political Smackdown: What's Said vs. What's Heard

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

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Lalala! I can't hear you... Source: striatic hide caption

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Source: striatic

Governor Palin did not ban books from the public library as mayor of Wasilla, and Senator Obama was not sworn into the Senate with his hand placed on the Koran. And yet, such misinformation persists, and plenty of voters believe one myth or the other, but not both. Why? The answer's simple, and once again Psych 101 rears its (ugly?) head: confirmation bias. Today, we'll talk to Bill Bishop, author of The Big Sort, about how, in politics, voters seek to confirm their beliefs by hearing what they want to hear, and ignoring what they don't.

Yes or no: Have you ever gone out of your way not to hear facts that might upset your existing political beliefs? All the liberals, say, "Haaay!" Did you skip George Bush's State of the Union? All the conservatives, say, "Haaay!" Did you skip Bill Clinton's State of the Union? Come on, be honest.