t they do. I have overvalued reasoning in myself and others and under…zed that I’ve overestimated my ability to quickly understand what drives people to do what they do. I have overvalued reasoning in myself and others and undervalued pride, fear and the need to belong. I’ve been operating like an economist, in other words — an economist from the 1960s.
Finally, some simple advice: it’s important not to repeat a false belief in an effort to correct it, Nyhan has found. If people are told Barack Obama is not Muslim, many will remember that he is Muslim. The negative simply vanishes from their minds, because it doesn’t fit with their pre-existing biases. The best way to counter this disturbing tendency is to just state that Obama is Christian — and avoid ringing any false notes altogether.