Reasoned reasoning: what is it and how is it associated with emotions?

Christmas dinners are tense situations. Not because the food might not have gone very well, neither because of the cold nor because of the absences, but because there are so many people together and they all have different opinions. .

But don’t worry, all of these guests agree on at least one thing: they all believe they are right.

Reasoned reasoning he comes to believe that his opinion is the best of all, and to have and ignore all the data that proves it is not. We all experience it day to day, and then we’ll see more in depth what it is and why it happens.

    What is reasoned reasoning?

    Reasoned reasoning is a cognitive bias in which individual aspects are involved, including emotions, stereotypes, fears, beliefs, and subconscious reasoning. These cognitive aspects influence decision-making, making the person believe that they are acting rationally without really being so. All aspects influence the way in which reality is perceived.

    The information that the person receives is processed in a way that corresponds to their own point of view. The person places more importance on data that reinforces their own worldview, while those that contradict or refute what one believes are simply omitted. This is because, basically, it’s very hard to change your mind and see what’s wrong, Although we are “experts” in trying to dismantle the opinions of others.

    This phenomenon occurs especially when people cling to their beliefs, however false and detachable they may be. People want their own point of view to win, to be what they most accurately describe.. An attack on these beliefs is seen as a personal attack. Our judgment is influenced by which side or opinion we want them to win.

    A clear example of this can be seen in football matches. Every fan of every football team has been a victim of this phenomenon on several occasions. When the referee blows up his own team, it’s very common for fans to criticize the referee, calling him anything but nice things. On the other hand, if the referee blows the whistle to the opposing team, the supporters have no problem agreeing with him and even calling the opponent big cheaters.

      Spirit of the Soldier Vs. Spirit of the Explorer

      Two types of mind have been proposed regarding how one is able to self-criticize one’s own beliefs: the soldier’s mind and the explorer’s mind.

      On the one hand, the soldier’s mind is linked to the typical profile of a person with a certain opinion who is incapable of conceiving an idea far removed from his own view of the world, totally defending his own point of view. These are the people who they have no problem telling lies, rejecting evidence and showing others how wrong they are.

      On the other side is the mind of the explorer, which would correspond to that of the person who, although he has a different point of view than others, he dares to explore facts and explanations that they could question their own way of seeing the world, allowing them to have a more flexible opinion.

      Why are we convinced that we are right?

      There are various aspects to insisting that reason is taken away and that others are wrong, even if they are not. Below we will see the main points.

      1. Emotional connection

      In every belief there are emotions involved, which act to direct our thinking.. Therefore, when we seek information about something we believe in, we prefer to seek what proves us right rather than discussing it.

      2. Avoid cognitive dissonance

      Cognitive dissonance is a phenomenon that occurs when new information contradicts what one believed or what shapes the value system. This dissonance can even cause anxiety, Although that would be an extreme case.

      Either way, this cognitive dissonance requires some intellectual effort, which is generally avoided. For this reason, reasoned reasoning is used, unconsciously, as a mechanism to avoid being in this situation.

      It is less lazy to believe in pleasant lies than in uncomfortable truths.

        3. Maintain a positive self-image

        What we believe in is not just a way of seeing the world. It’s something that gives us strength and is a very important pillar in how we relate to the world and in our own self-image.

        If something is said that contradicts what we believe in, we may come to take it as a personal attack, as something that challenges our own way of being.

        Motivated reasoning is a mechanism for protecting the Freudian “me”, our self-esteem.

        4. Presumption of objectivity

        Everyone sees themselves as someone objective, rational, who knows the difference between logic and emotion. However, and to be honest, everyone has some resistance to allowing data contrary to what they think to settle in their mind.

        We are not rational, or at least not the way we think we are. Otherwise, why is there so much discussion at Christmas dinners?

        5. Cultural validation

        We share many points of view with other people, which helps us to feel accepted by others, delineate the endo and the outgroup and feel like people with the truth on their side.

        Accepting ideas outside of the group to which you belong can cause some anxiety and a feeling of being uprooted or even in some cases can be perceived as some sort of in-group betrayal.

        social implications

        Motivated reasoning is extremely common and normal, and having this kind of cognitive bias isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, pushing it to the extreme can be a real problem for a number of reasons.

        This type of reasoning is easily visible to anyone who votes for any party.. The voter will always want to see the good of the party and ignore what is bad or objectionable that he has done. Within a few limits, it is acceptable and healthy. It ceases to be so good when the party he votes for gets corrupted or violates his rights. If he continues to be defended at all costs, it is clear that he does not choose to be impartial.

        So, if there are a lot of people who cannot criticize this party and continue to vote for it, there is a risk of having a person who will steal from the coffers of the state or the city council, giving the priority to have money in the pocket instead of investing in social assistance, better street furniture, avoiding cuts in education …

        Another, even more serious case is that of pseudoscientific beliefs like that the earth is flat, that there is no climate change or that vaccines cause autism … All of these claims are easily disassembled with a little science and by analyzing the multiple evidence that has been found . However, a person who believes in such ideas, even if all the scientific evidence can be provided to him, will not accept it, saying that he is the one who explains who is either being manipulated or in a big mistake.

        It is in this case that we see a very serious social implication, and it is endangering the health of others. For example, if you suspect that vaccines cause autism, you will not be vaccinated or vaccinated with your children because the family is potentially vulnerable to serious preventable illnesses. Additionally, if there is someone in the neighborhood who is not vaccinated, it can be transmitted, causing a pandemic.

        Not believing in climate change and devaluing studies that show what is happening can have social implications such as lack of food due to extreme floods and droughts, as well as loss of useful species. for humans who cannot tolerate high temperatures.

        Bibliographical references:

        • Epley, N. and Gilovich, T. (2016) The Mechanics of Motivated Reasoning. Journal of Economic Perspectives; 30 (3): 133-140.
        • Cohen, GL (2012) Identity, Belief and Prejudice. In: Ideology, psychology and law. J. Oxford: Hanson (ed.).
        • Ditto, PH & Lopez, DL (1992) Motivated Skepticism: Use of Differential Decision Criteria to Obtain Preferential and Non-Preferred Conclusions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; 63: 568-584.
        • Kunda, Z. (1990) The case of reasoned reasoning. Psychological bulletin; 108: 480-198.
        • Kunda, Z. (1987) Motivated Inference: Self-Service Generation and Assessment of Causal Theories. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; 53: 636-647.
        • Hastorf, AH and Cantril, H. (1954) They saw a match; a case study. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology; 49 (1): 129-134.

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