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Bundled Beliefs

June 12, 2011

People who make a moral judgement are likely to hold empirical beliefs that support that judgement.

Examples:
Animal rights activists are more likely to believe that a vegetarian diet is healthier than an omnivorous diet.
Gun rights advocates probably underestimate the number of accidental gun deaths.
Keynesians underestimate the long run harm to GDP growth of increased government spending.
Those who think that drug users are bad people, are likely to believe that illegal drugs have no medical uses.

I don’t have any empirical evidence for this other than my own observations and introspection. It might make a decent research paper, and I bet someone might have done something similar already. In politics, it is well documented that, for example, Republicans are more likely to think that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, even after Bush announced that they didn’t. People are cooperative animals, so we do things to fit in rather than necessarily be the exact right thing to do. It’s just something to be aware of and try to catch in yourself.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 12, 2011 9:51 pm

    This sounds more like a cognitive science issue than an economics one 😉

  2. Chris permalink
    June 14, 2011 1:08 am

    @Brian I think they are the same thing.

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