The Huffington Post:
I’ve worked in Washington, D.C. for decades, so I have witnessed a fair number of political logjams, even a few government shutdowns. So I’m not quick to panic when the two parties’ leaders stubbornly stake out what are seemingly irreconcilable positions. But I confess that listening to House Republicans this time around — especially but not only the Tea Party zealots — is making me nervous. This is not just the usual posturing and brinkmanship. I really think they perceive a different reality than the rest of us.
Is that possible? Can people be so biased by their political attitudes that they look out and see a different world, a world where up is down and black is white? I look at Tea Party Republicans and I see incompetence and selfishness and cruelty. Is it possible that others look at the same faces and see trustworthiness and benevolence?
Coincidentally, I came across a new study this week that argues just that. Ohio State University psychological scientists Russell Fazio, Alison Young and Kyle Ratner used techniques from psychophysics to test the idea that our political attitudes can shape our most basic perceptions of human faces — including our perceptions of trustworthiness.
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