New York Magazine: How to Psychologically Fool Conservatives Into Accepting Global Warming

October 2nd, 2014 10:53 AM

New York magazine poses the problem of how to fool conservatives into buying the global warming beliefs. The answer provided by writer Jesse Singal is to psychologically manipulate them via long term "framing interventions."

If you think the tone of the article is dripping with condescension toward the "conservative yahoos" you would be right. One failed attempt at such obvious manipulation is to call it "climate change" instead of global warming since there has been no global warming for about the past 14 years. Of course, Singal himself has proved that he is not up to psychological manipulation speed since lately they have been calling it "climate disruption" since it was pointed out that climate always changes. Here is the author noting how conservatives were notably absent from the recent Peoples Climate March which was chock full of signs attacking capitalism and promoting socialism:

Last week’s People's Climate March drew 400,000 people onto the streets of Manhattan and a great deal of international attention to a subject of dire urgency. But some were skeptical about the event’s overall significance. “The march slogan was, ‘to change everything, we need everyone,’ which is telling, because it won’t change everything, because it didn’t include everyone,” wrote David Roberts of Grist. “Specifically, it won’t change American politics because it didn’t include conservatives.” True enough.

If there weren’t such a stark divide between American conservatives and almost everyone else on the question of the existence and importance of climate change — a divide that can approach 40 points on some polling questions — the political situation would be very different. So if any progress on climate change is going to be made through the American political system — apart from executive orders by Democratic presidents — it is going to have to somehow involve convincing a lot of conservatives that yes, climate change is a threat to civilization.

How do you do that? The answer has more to do with psychology than politics.

Time to put conservatives on the couch to analyze why they don't join the loony left in denouncing capitalism as the cause of global warm... uh, I mean climate change:

In a larger context, social scientists have shown in laboratory settings that there are ways to discuss climate change that nudge conservatives toward recognizing the issue. Research is proceeding along a few different tracks. One of them involves moral foundations theory, a hot idea in political psychology that basically argues that people holding different political beliefs arrive at those beliefs because they have different moral values (even if there’s plenty of overlap). Liberals tend to be more moved by the idea of innocent people being harmed than conservatives, for example, while conservatives are more likely to react to notions of disgust (some of the conservative rhetoric over immigration reflects this difference).

Got that? Conservatives are a bunch of uncaring yahoos so psychology must be used to manipulate them beyond their ignorance. And now we analyze those simpleton conservatives as lab rats:

In a study they published in Psychological Science in 2013, Willer and a colleague, the Stanford social psychologist Matthew Feinberg, tested the effectiveness of framing environmental issues in a way that takes into account conservatives’ moral foundations. After completing a questionnaire that included items about their political beliefs, respondents were asked to read one of three excerpts...

Another promising route that researchers are exploring involves the concept of “system justification.” Put simply, system justification arises from the deep-seated psychological need for humans to feel like the broad systems they are a part of are working correctly.

As a result of the psychological experiments on the conservative lab rats, it was discovered that "framing interventions" are only effective if they are long term:

Willer was realistic in describing the limitations of grafting language from moral foundations theory and system justification onto climate-change messages. “It’s unlikely that such a short, small framing intervention would have a long, sustained effect — that’s very unlikely,” said Willer. “The idea, we hope, is that application of these techniques in a longer-term more committed campaign would be effective and would stick.”

Of course, no input from the white coats on how to use "framing interventions" to cure those liberals, such as author Naomi Klein as well as at least half of the participants at the People's Climate March, of the notion that capitalism is the cause and socialism is the answer for global warming which morphed into climate change now revised to climate disruption.