The Psychology That Leads People to Vote for Extremists & Autocrats: The Theory of Cognitive Closure

in PoliticsPsychology | November 30th, 2016.

There's a political disconnect in the United States. We have two political parties, each now living in its own reality and working with its own set of facts. The common ground between them? Next to none.

How to explain this disconnect? Maybe the answer lies in the theory of “cognitive closure”–a theory first worked out by social psychologist Arie Kruglanski back in 1989.

“People’s politics are driven by their psychological needs,” Kruglanski explains in the short documentary above. “People who are anxious because of the uncertainty that surrounds them are going to be attracted to messages that offer certainty.”

He sips a soda, then continues, “The need for closure is the need for certainty, to have clear cut knowledge. You feel that you need to stop processing too much information, to stop listening to a variety of viewpoints, and zero in on what appears to be, to you, the truth.” “The need for closure tricks your mind to believe you have the truth, even though you haven’t examined the evidence very carefully.” And that, unfortunately, can be very dangerous.

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The official new Queen of Austria Wins Eurovision Song Contest 2014

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If you don't merit it, you don't win a song contest as a man dressed like a beautiful woman with a full beard. And winning she did.

Ex Princess and Empress of Austria Sissy may rise from the ashes knowing that tonight, Austria's image is officially overthrown by the victory of a drag queen sporting a full blown deep dark beard. "Rise like a Phoenix" is the title of Conchita Wurst winning song, that was declared winner even before all European nations' votes were in.

With the words “This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are — we are unity and we are unstoppable.” Conchita Wurst (translated Conchita Sausage), Austrian provoking drag queen wins the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.

"I created this bearded lady to show the world that you can do whatever you want," said Wurst, the drag persona of 25-year-old Austrian singer Tom Neuwirth, at a recent press conference in Copenhagen. "If you're not hurting anyone you can do whatever you like with your life and, it's so cheesy, but we've only got one (life)," she added.

"Rise like a Phoenix" is not just a beautiful ballade that reminds us of a James Bond movie's ending song, it's also the reflection on the current Zeitgeist. Who has to rise from the ashes and look at the devastation that has been wrecked upon humanity: Humans? Workers? Students? customers? Democracy? Peace?

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