Home > Culture, Decision Making, Rationality, Socio-Cultural Systems > On Insularity and Cognitive Dissonance: An Update

On Insularity and Cognitive Dissonance: An Update

In my previous post I indicated that the tendency for people to seek out self-reinforcing communities was not unique to right wing conservatives, but was a human tendency.

The authors of the book Connected mapped the connections between political blogs, both left and right wing:


The bottom line is that all people, including conservatives and liberals, seek to reinforce their own preexisting perceptions.  How else could you believe that Pres. Obama is a Muslim or that Pres. Bush planned 9/11?

  1. November 19, 2010 at 2:19 am

    I do not link to blogs which I despise (for warmongering or similar reasons).
    The reason is that I do not want to direct traffic towards them.

    The link connections between political blogs are likely influenced by the same idea and thus a poor indicator about whether blog READERS visit only politically ‘friendly’ blogs or read diverse blogs.

    • November 19, 2010 at 3:34 am


      Thanks for your feedback. I see that you are from Europe (am I correct?) My sense is that the political atmosphere here in the US (and hence the blogosphere) is much more polarized that in Europe. You’ll note that the diagram presented was of American blogs only. In any case, there is ample empirical evidence to suggest that people seek out evidence to support their own views. There are, of course, exceptions, but the vast majority of us don’t like to be proved wrong.

  2. November 29, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    I’m a German and a German newspaper article just yesterday covered the different cultural development of polarization in the U.S. and consensus society in Germany.

    You’re also correct about cognitive dissonance. Here’s a link which I saved for a possible alter blog post: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/how_facts_backfire/?s_campaign=8315

    My point was that there’s one more possible explanation for the pattern. Links do not represent what people read unless you mean bookmarks.

    A more useful research project would use tracking cookies, not link analysis.

    • November 29, 2010 at 7:21 pm


      Thanks for the link. That article is a favorite of mine. As far as the research goes, certainly there are more empirical ways to approach the subject, however, I think you and I both sense we would find ourselves at the same conclusion….

  1. October 21, 2011 at 9:36 am
  2. September 8, 2014 at 9:10 am

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