Science And How T-Rump F*cks-Up People

June 22, 2022

Hot, heavy air outside this early-evening Wednesday here in California’s Central Valley — sunshine burns a hole even sitting in the shade, with a near-sizzling aura that’s zero fun.
Weather is still just the weather.

However, something’s that hard to weather is the granite-brain of Republicans, who on the one hand will call the T-Rump a liar and a prick and a nasty asshole, but would still vote for the sonofabitch if he ran for president in 2024 — a mental capacity that’s brazenly bonkers, and beyond comprehension:

Rusty Bowers’s testimony yesterday on how T-Rump applied pressure to get him to do illegal election shit in order to change the outcome of the election count in Arizona, knocking Joe Biden out of the winner’s seat. Bowers didi a fine job on that one hand, but lost the sense of sense on the other. He seems to display how the near-entire Republican party acts — a mystery beyond any sane approach to understanding it. A lot of people try to explain it away and there’s plenty of opinion on what makes these dumb-ass, ordinary people, act in an irrational; f*cked-up way that bends the mind in just seeing it in public. Which, by the way, is where reality dwells — T-Rump’s crimes are obvious and out in the open and have been certified by members of his own staff.

Even Wild Bill “Bullshit”  Barr will vote for the T-Rump, despite him being unhinged, unfit for the job, and you know, doing dangerous crimes: ‘“It’s hard to project what the facts are going to turn out to be three years hence. As of now, it’s hard for me to conceive that I wouldn’t vote for the Republican nominee.”

If my brain can’t handle this rank, weird, crazy-ass shit maybe science can — I spied some studies this afternoon during one of my many daily doomscrolls might link this ugly shit.
A lot of it is the horrible personality of the T-Rump.
First, via PsyPost today and a study first how MAGA hatters cane be so dumb — they can rationalize the Orange Asshole’s unethical, nasty behavior.

Results showed that Republicans downplayed Trump’s unethical behavior, but this was related to his identity advancement and not related to his group prototypicality. Trump losing the election did not increase his follower’s beliefs that he behaved unethically or decrease their perception of his group prototypicality or identity advancement.
Additionally, participants did perceive Trump’s behavior as less unethical than the same behaviors in a neutral subject. This was significant for all 3 behaviors studied including nepotism, sharing of false information, and abuse of power.

“The extent to which group members downplay the transgressive behavior of their leader has worrying implications for leadership,” the researchers said.
“Ultimately, it appears that devout followers are willing to explain away even the most serious breaches of law and morality by their leaders. As the US Capitol riots illustrate, the rationalization of a leader’s transgressive behavior and continued support for them can culminate in serious attacks on democracy and social order.”

The study was published in March in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

In another scientific example, a recent study indicates some people believe they have a moral obligation to do violence — via UC San Diego News yesterday:

Findings from a new University of California San Diego Rady School of Management study reveal people often hurt others because in their mind, it is morally right or even obligatory to be violent and as a result, they do not respond rationally to material benefits.

The study has implications for the criminal justice system, suggesting that fines or jail time to penalize bad behavior may not be an effective deterrent as lawmakers hope.

“For a majority of offenders, it’s not worth the trouble to inflict harm purely from a place of cynical greed,” said psychologist Tage Rai, an assistant professor of management at the Rady School of Management and author of the study. “For example, as we are seeing with the January 6 hearings, many of the perpetrators of the attack on the Capitol believed the election had been stolen from them and that they were morally in the right to punish the congresspeople who had wronged them. Many of these people will be materially punished for their actions. What’s unclear is whether that would stop them from doing it again.”

And, too, in regards to our most troubling, and dangerous problem: climate change — humans act on disinformation.
A study indicates people react to climate change news, but the effect wears off after a short space, and lies about the environment are quick to fill the breach
Some high points via Ohio State News on Monday:

Science reporting on climate change does lead Americans to adopt more accurate beliefs and support government action on the issue — but these gains are fragile, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that these accurate beliefs fade quickly and can erode when people are exposed to coverage skeptical of climate change.

“It is not the case that the American public does not respond to scientifically informed reporting when they are exposed to it,” said Thomas Wood, associate professor of political science at The Ohio State University.
“But even factually accurate science reporting recedes from people’s frame of reference very quickly.”

The study will be published June 24, 2022, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Wood said it was significant that accurate reporting had positive effects on all groups, including Republicans and those who originally rejected climate change. But it was even more encouraging that it affected attitudes.

“Not only did science reporting change people’s factual understanding, it also moved their political preferences,” he said.
“It made them think that climate change was a pressing government concern that government should do more about.”

But the positive effects on people’s beliefs were short-lived, results showed. These effects largely disappeared in later waves of the study.
In addition, opinion stories that were skeptical of the scientific consensus on climate change reversed the accuracy gains generated by science coverage.
Articles featuring partisan conflict had no measurable effects on people’s beliefs and attitudes.
Overall, the results suggest that the media play a key role in Americans’ beliefs and attitudes about scientific issues like climate change.

“It was striking to us how amenable the subjects in our study were to what they read about climate change in our study. But what they learned faded very quickly,” Wood said.
The results of the study conflict with the media imperative to only report on what is new.
“What we found suggests that people need to hear the same accurate messages about climate change again and again. If they only hear it once, it recedes very quickly,” Wood said.
“The news media isn’t designed to act that way.”

A bonkers, paradoxical-like conundrum we’ve found ourselves.

Science of WTF, as here we are once again…

(Illustration out front is of a New York state high-school student exhibit: ‘The piece was displayed during student-driven art show at Shenendehowa High School. It consisted of at least 12 identical black-and-white pictures of Donald Trump. There was also a sign above the pictures that read, “Draw on Me.” Using markers from the art classroom, some students opted to scribble critical messages and profanities on the pictures‘ — and found here).

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