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Opinions As Judgmental Anchors



 Research on attitudes and emotions shows that a moderate, unbiased person is able to see many points of view on a hot-button, emotionally-involving issue, whereas a radically-committed person cannot judge all positions equally fairly.  You can see that in any “debate” where extremists are shouting at one another (such as on Youtube). Moderate people do not experience such “judgmental bias,” and they can understand the many points of view.  But when people listen to and then agree with and personally endorse extreme speech, then their own personal judgment scale becomes skewed and polarized into “the good side” (theirs) and “the bad side” (their “opponent’s” side).  But there weren’t “sides” before they endorsed the radical speech. Endorsement operates like an infection, invading the person’s judgment scale and slanting and biasing their judgment processes.

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