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“I see this as connected, because I believe that both liberals and conservatives tend to misunderstand one another in various ways, and that one of those ways is via projecting self-derived assumptions onto the other. These projections both feed into and derive strength from beliefs that their cognitive competencies are all that’s needed to win politically, and that their cognitive incompetencies aren’t incompetencies at all.
a growing body of literature reveals that liberals and conservatives think differently from one another in ways that can even be traced back, in part, to the level of instinctual response, reflecting conservatives’ heightened sensitivity to threat bias. This work is congruent with an integrated multi-factor account offered by John Jost and three co-authors in the 2003 meta-analysis “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition .” In their abstract, they explained, “Analyzing political conservatism as motivated social cognition integrates theories of personality (authoritarianism, dogmatism–intolerance of ambiguity), epistemic and existential needs (for closure, regulatory focus, terror management), and ideological rationalization (social dominance, system justification).” Their meta-analysis integrated findings from 88 sample studies in 12 countries, with 22,818 individual subjects—meaning it drew on a substantial body of work by others.
Karen Armstrong illuminates a slightly different, though related, difference, contrasting the modalities of mythos and logos. As Armstrong explains, logos is concerned with the practical understanding of how things work in the world, while mythos is concerned with ultimate meaning. Either modality can be used by liberals and conservatives alike in their everyday lives. But macro-historically, there’s been a distinct bias—and weird twist on top of it—at least since the dawn of the modern era. That’s when logos began becoming so all-pervasive that it seemed destined to dislodge mythos, and some defenders of mythos(now commonly known as fundamentalists) fought back paradoxically by assuming the framework of logos, and arguing that their mythos was literally true—a move that true traditionalists would have found to be deeply in error, because it devalued the essential purpose of mythos.
Once you’re aware that the Dunning-Kruger effect is involved, it’s anybody’s guess, really, who is more incompetent than whom.