Political Extremism Is Supported by an Illusion of Understanding

  title={Political Extremism Is Supported by an Illusion of Understanding},
  author={Philip M. Fernbach and Todd Rogers and C. Fox and S. Sloman},
  journal={Psychological Science},
  pages={939 - 946}
People often hold extreme political attitudes about complex policies. We hypothesized that people typically know less about such policies than they think they do (the illusion of explanatory depth) and that polarized attitudes are enabled by simplistic causal models. Asking people to explain policies in detail both undermined the illusion of explanatory depth and led to attitudes that were more moderate (Experiments 1 and 2). Although these effects occurred when people were asked to generate a… Expand

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