YANSS 171 – How partisan identities affect our ability to reason, rationalize, and recall

Jay Van Bavel studies “from neurons to social networks…how collective concerns — group identities, moral values, and political beliefs — shape the mind and brain,” and in this episode we travel to his office at NYU to sit down and ask him a zillion questions about how the brain uses motivated reasoning to create the separate realities we argue over on a daily basis.

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Jay Van Bavel is an Associate Professor of Psychology & Neural Science at New York University and director of the Social Perception and Evaluation Lab.

From his paper The Partisan Brain: An Identity-Based Model of Political Belief: “Democracies assume accurate knowledge by the populace, but the human attraction to fake and untrustworthy news poses a serious problem for healthy democratic functioning. …Identification with political parties – known as partisanship – can bias information processing in the human brain. There is extensive evidence that people engage in motivated political reasoning, but recent research suggests that partisanship can alter memory, implicit evaluation, and even perceptual judgments.”

In the episode, you will learn all about his work studying the affects of social identity and morality on politics and human cognition, and how modern media companies capitalize on and influence group identity and morality.

Links and Sources

Download – iTunes – Stitcher – RSS – Patreon – Soundcloud

Previous Episodes

Jay Van Bavel

Social Identity and Morality Lab

The Partisan Brain: An Identity-Based Model of Political Belief

Jay Van Bavel’s Twitter