Legitimizing Untrustworthy Politicians

This article is brief. The diagram below should read as follows:

Bad politicians come to and stay in power when:

  • more people use System 1 to make important decisions (i.e. the fast thinking brain system based on biases, intuitions, prejudices, associations, emotions, etc.)
  • more people do not give a damn about the well-being of the entire nation
  • more people hold more inaccurate than accurate data in their brains.


  1. Daniel Kahneman quantitatively evaluated stress, anxiety and depression as functions of economic security (here: http://www.pnas.org/content/107/38/16489.full.pdf). Also, neuroscience teaches that stress is an enemy of System 2 (i.e. the analytical and logical thinking): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeJSXfXep4M
  2. Here is the list of countries ranked by income: http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/income-index
  3. The notion of trustworthiness defined as a function of ability, integrity and benevolence: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
  4. People’s unconcern for the well-being of the citizens of the entire society (i.e. selfishness) leads to deepening of inequalities of any kind. Here is the list of countries ranked by inequality: http://hdr.undp.org/en/data/map
  5. Untrustworthy political leaders are sources and destinations of corruption. Here is the ranking by corruption: http://www.transparency.org/cpi2014
  6. I believe religiosity is the greatest institutionalized source of misconceptions and delusions, which effectively blocks rational thinking (System 2). The following article shows quantitatively that in very religious countries, scientific development is very poor and vice versa. The same result is confirmed within the USA as well. http://www.princeton.edu/~rbenabou/papers/Religion%20December%201g_snd.pdf
  7. The societal degree of education is strongly correlated with the overall development and welfare of a society. Here is the ranking by education: http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/education-index
  8. The freedom of media has a major influence on the accuracy of data stored in each individual and thereby their thinking. Here is a relevant rank list: https://www.freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/MapofFreedom2014.pdf
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