Odds and Ends

The Dangers of Getting Only One Point of View

Black-and-white rigidity is actually one of many symptoms of people with borderline personality disorder.

The Dangers of Getting Only One Point of View
by David Mills

Experts say people who only seek out information that backs up their opinions may become angrier, less empathic, and unable to have meaningful relationships.

On electoral maps, Democratic states are portrayed as blue.

Republican states are represented by red.

However, it appears the ardent supporters of both parties are only willing to see things in black and white.

With the proliferation of websites, the availability of personal social media platforms, and the narrow specialization of cable television news networks, people in the United States are increasingly seeking out information that only jibes with their vision of things.

A 2014 report by the Pew Research Center concluded liberals and conservatives turn to distinctly different outlets when they want to get news and information

Conservatives flock to Fox News. Liberals go to MSNBC, NPR, or The New York Times.

Molitor says this selective information seeking isn’t limited to politics, although that tends to be the most emotional.

It can also be observed when people are taking sides on education issues such as charter schools or parenting issues such as vaccinations.

“It’s a broader issue for society,” she told Healthline.

Besides creating underinformed or even ill-informed readers, Molitor says the confirmation bias phenomenon is also producing some worrisome social trends.

She said it can erode people’s ability to be sympathetic, to be tolerant, or to utilize their critical thinking skills.

“Often times there are no simple solutions,” she said.


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