CC-licensed image, courtesy of Mr. Physics, via Flickr

An excellent post today on the Dangerous Minds blog, and an ensuing discussion on Facebook got me to thinking about the differences between the minds of conservative folks and liberal folks.

Namely, why should it be that so many conservatives have such a hard time changing their opinions when presented with bald facts that contradict those opinions?

We normally think of humans as rational agents.  That is, we expect the beliefs we each hold are based on some sort of evidence and argument, and as more data becomes available to a person, they should update their model of how the world works.  But often, in practice, it doesn’t seem to work out that way.

(This is going to turn out to be a long post.) Continue reading