Where do you get your news?

Your answer says a lot about you.

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Before you look at the chart below, jot down the 3 or 4 web pages or channels/shows that you trust as your primary sources for news.

No cheating.

Done?

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OK, now check where your news sources fall along this ideological continuum crafted by Pew Research.

confirmation bias - media ideology
Your news sources align with your political ideology, right?

It’s a psychological dynamic called “confirmation bias” … soliciting and internalizing information that is consistent with one’s current beliefs.

Said differently, confirmation bias is a natural stress-reduction tendency to avoid or resist any information that is contrary to or inconsistent with one’s current thinking.

One of the major solidifiers of our current political polarization is the “echo chamber effect” … we all tend to consult sources and hang with people who share, reinforce and exaggerate our ideological leanings.

So what to do?

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Option #1 is to continue living in our echo chambers and just write off differing views as thoughtless and wacky.

Not a particularly good alternative, right?

Option #2 is to “diversify inputs” … seek out people and sources of contrary information … and try to process that information with a relatively open mind.

For openers, if you’re a conservative, try watching MSNBC and listen, don’t shout obscenities.

If you’re a liberal, try watching Fox News (don’t just read the left-side rants, watch it) or at least glance at the Wall Street Journal (which Pew pegs a bit left of center).

You probably won’t change you mind much, but you may deepen your understanding of the other side …

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#HomaFiles

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