Humans are More Likely to Double Down for "Hot Button" Issues
Even when we don’t fully agree with our own opinions, for “hot button” issues (e.g., politics, religion) we paradoxically will defend them even more in the face of an opposing point of view.
Last updated on Jan 24 , 2021
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Contrary to what we might expect, when we do begin to doubt a belief or opinion we hold, some research suggests that rather than updating our thinking, we actually tend to dig our heels in further -- doubling down on our opinion.
In fact, how strongly we purport our opinions externally may in fact be inversely related to how strongly we feel internally. One study found an inverse relationship where the less strongly one felt about their "hot button" opinion (e.g., whether testing on animals was acceptable), the more they worked to convince others of their opinions.
Consider Trump supporters, for example. Many Trump voters found themselves in a position where they defended Trump's actions and behavior once in office - even when they didn't fully support them. Voting for him once was enough to make them double down and defend, rather than reflect on whether they should revise their thinking.
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