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(Huffington Post)   "People who are very good at math may totally flunk a problem that they would otherwise be able to solve, simply because giving the right answer goes against their political beliefs"   (huffingtonpost.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, Chris Mooney, Brendan Nyhan, Yale Law School, names of large numbers, concealed handgun, Dan Kahan  
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6494 clicks; posted to Politics » on 16 Sep 2013 at 11:34 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-16 09:28:57 PM  
Nyan and his collaborators have been running experiments trying to answer this terrifying question about American voters: Do facts matter?

25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-09-16 09:44:14 PM  
2 + 2 = potato
 
2013-09-16 10:14:09 PM  
This isn't at all surprising. Some of my "smarter" friends on facebook are posting hyper partisan crap all the damn time and refuse to admit for even a fraction of a second that they could be wrong when the facts are very clearly not in favor of their position.

I cope by trolling both sides. They never see it as they're too blinded by their politics.
 
2013-09-16 10:16:49 PM  
"math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better."

why are these people allowed to vote? arent they mentally delusional??
 
2013-09-16 10:33:39 PM  

namatad: "math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better."

why are these people allowed to vote? arent they mentally delusional??


Considering the article was about delusion within liberal and conservative thought bias that prevents people from understanding hard facts, you're probably the subset they were testing.

How does that make you feel?  Stupid?  It should.  But it won't, because the article was correct.
 
2013-09-16 10:37:51 PM  
Honestly, this is not that surprising, nor really as frightening as the article might suggest. Everybody does this, I'd wager that most people who post in this thread do this. I'll prove it.

Quick, liberals, look at this graph:

blogs-images.forbes.com

Now, does lowering the top marginal tax rate increase tax revenue?

Are you convinced by my evidence? No? Clearly your politics are getting in the way of your doing math.

We all know the adage "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics" all this study shows is that people trust their intuitions over a single datum that contradicts their intuition.
 
2013-09-16 10:52:39 PM  
WAAAHHH YEW LIBZ, Now, does lowering the top marginal tax rate increase tax revenue?


i.imgur.com
 
2013-09-16 10:53:50 PM  

Kittypie070: WAAAHHH YEW LIBZ, Now, does lowering the top marginal tax rate increase tax revenue?


[i.imgur.com image 580x574]


Thanks for proving my point while missing it entirely.
 
2013-09-16 10:58:53 PM  
This puts me in mind of every Detroit thread on Fark, ever.
 
2013-09-16 11:08:22 PM  
Lies.
Damn Lies.
Statistics.

Of course the people who know math better put less faith in graphs. Graphs are formal lies.
 
2013-09-16 11:09:34 PM  

nmrsnr: Honestly, this is not that surprising, nor really as frightening as the article might suggest. Everybody does this, I'd wager that most people who post in this thread do this. I'll prove it.

Quick, liberals, look at this graph:

[blogs-images.forbes.com image 850x361]

Now, does lowering the top marginal tax rate increase tax revenue?

Are you convinced by my evidence? No? Clearly your politics are getting in the way of your doing math.

We all know the adage "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics" all this study shows is that people trust their intuitions over a single datum that contradicts their intuition.


I wonder what that chart would look like adjusted for inflation.
 
2013-09-16 11:22:49 PM  

timujin: I wonder what that chart would look like adjusted for inflation.


The point is, as far as this study was concerned, it doesn't really matter, the point is that many people, while staring directly at the graph I provided above, would maintain an opinion in opposition of the apparent evidence before them, like the people in the study. The question that wasn't asked was why they maintained their belief, and whether it was dogmatic obstinance, or because they have reason to doubt the data, like your observation that perhaps it wasn't adjusted for inflation, or perhaps systems are more complex than a single line graph might suggest.
 
2013-09-16 11:23:39 PM  

nmrsnr: Honestly, this is not that surprising, nor really as frightening as the article might suggest. Everybody does this, I'd wager that most people who post in this thread do this. I'll prove it.

Quick, liberals, look at this graph:

[blogs-images.forbes.com image 850x361]

Now, does lowering the top marginal tax rate increase tax revenue?

Are you convinced by my evidence? No? Clearly your politics are getting in the way of your doing math.

We all know the adage "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics" all this study shows is that people trust their intuitions over a single datum that contradicts their intuition.


I think you are misinterpreting your own graph, at least partially.

What it shows to me is a possible correlation between dropping the top marginal tax rate and increasing tax revenue until you get to around 50%. You will notice that where it hovers around 40%, from 1988 - 2010, tax revenue still increases sharply, indicating another independent cause.

I would say at most the graph indicates that there may be an inverse correlation if your top marginal tax rate exceeds 50%, but there are obviously other variables, and there may be no relationship at all. Overall it is inconclusive.

What do I win?
 
2013-09-16 11:25:09 PM  

nmrsnr: timujin: I wonder what that chart would look like adjusted for inflation.

The point is, as far as this study was concerned, it doesn't really matter, the point is that many people, while staring directly at the graph I provided above, would maintain an opinion in opposition of the apparent evidence before them, like the people in the study. The question that wasn't asked was why they maintained their belief, and whether it was dogmatic obstinance, or because they have reason to doubt the data, like your observation that perhaps it wasn't adjusted for inflation, or perhaps systems are more complex than a single line graph might suggest.


The graph does not represent what you claim it does.
 
2013-09-16 11:36:52 PM  

nmrsnr: derrrrrp


Quick, conservatives, look at this graph:

i.imgur.com

Now, does increased gun sales drive up the deficit?
 
2013-09-16 11:40:50 PM  
I've stated this in the politics tab before. People reinforce their errors and they use the internet to assure the never have to admit their errors.

Elegy: This puts me in mind of every Detroit thread on Fark, ever.


I particularly like the claim that Democrats had no role in it. That the city may as well have been rock ribbed conservatives and it still would have failed.
 
2013-09-16 11:41:06 PM  

timujin: I wonder what that chart would look like adjusted for inflation.


Or the fact that there are 75% more people in the US today than in 1960.
 
2013-09-16 11:41:11 PM  

nmrsnr: timujin: I wonder what that chart would look like adjusted for inflation.

The point is, as far as this study was concerned, it doesn't really matter, the point is that many people, while staring directly at the graph I provided above, would maintain an opinion in opposition of the apparent evidence before them, like the people in the study. The question that wasn't asked was why they maintained their belief, and whether it was dogmatic obstinance, or because they have reason to doubt the data, like your observation that perhaps it wasn't adjusted for inflation, or perhaps systems are more complex than a single line graph might suggest.


You can't answer the question "Now, does lowering the top marginal tax rate increase tax revenue?" by using the graph you presented.
 
2013-09-16 11:43:07 PM  

dookdookdook: nmrsnr: derrrrrp

Quick, conservatives, look at this graph:

[i.imgur.com image 850x414]

Now, does increased gun sales drive up the deficit?


Tax rate and revenue are generally accepted to have a link. The exact ratio and affect is up for debate but there's a connection. What proof do you have that federal deficit and gun sales are linked?
 
2013-09-16 11:44:59 PM  

Mrbogey: What proof do you have that federal deficit and gun sales are linked?


Pirates.
 
2013-09-16 11:45:56 PM  

nmrsnr: Honestly, this is not that surprising, nor really as frightening as the article might suggest. Everybody does this, I'd wager that most people who post in this thread do this. I'll prove it.

Quick, liberals, look at this graph:


My god you're stupid.


propagandaprofessordotnet2.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-09-16 11:48:36 PM  
This is Bullshiat.
 
2013-09-16 11:49:51 PM  
You mean, like, engineers calculating the probability of buildings falling when ignited by jet fuel? .....that kind of math?
 
2013-09-16 11:50:02 PM  

Mrbogey: Tax rate and revenue are generally accepted to have a link. The exact ratio and affect is up for debate but there's a connection.


So because there is "some" connection, it's cool to spread around a chart that heavily implies a direct and proportional relationship?

What proof do you have that federal deficit and gun sales are linked?

Guns are "generally accepted" to have a link to crime rates, and crime rates are "generally accepted" to have a link to federal spending on law enforcement and prisons and such.

There, now my chart is every bit as legitimate as the first one posted.
 
2013-09-16 11:50:33 PM  

Lawnchair: timujin: I wonder what that chart would look like adjusted for inflation.

Or the fact that there are 75% more people in the US today than in 1960.


Along with the constant increase of per-worker productivity and GDP output over the same period of time.
 
2013-09-16 11:53:04 PM  
blog.lib.umn.edu
 
2013-09-16 11:55:20 PM  

nmrsnr: The point is, as far as this study was concerned, it doesn't really matter, the point is that many people, while staring directly at the graph I provided above, would maintain an opinion in opposition of the apparent evidence before them, like the people in the study. The question that wasn't asked was why they maintained their belief, and whether it was dogmatic obstinance, or because they have reason to doubt the data, like your observation that perhaps it wasn't adjusted for inflation, or perhaps systems are more complex than a single line graph might suggest.


Or maybe the fact that the population almost doubled between 1960 and today so federal receipts are going up anyway (all economic indices will trend upward so long as the population keeps increasing). It's not that the graph is lying, it's that it's omitting pertinent information that gives the numbers context.

Of course, lying with charts is one of the hallmarks of marketing.
 
2013-09-16 11:56:08 PM  

Mrbogey: dookdookdook: nmrsnr: derrrrrp

Quick, conservatives, look at this graph:

[i.imgur.com image 850x414]

Now, does increased gun sales drive up the deficit?

Tax rate and revenue are generally accepted to have a link. The exact ratio and affect is up for debate but there's a connection. What proof do you have that federal deficit and gun sales are linked?


There is a problem with the chart.

It does not take in all streams of revenue.

So you could clearly ask yourself, where did the extra revenue come from?  Are these new revenue streams being taken from the upper tax brackets or shifted to the lower classes?

Or even, how much more revenue would have gained if we had kept the tax rate the same?
 
2013-09-16 11:57:55 PM  

nmrsnr: Honestly, this is not that surprising, nor really as frightening as the article might suggest. Everybody does this, I'd wager that most people who post in this thread do this. I'll prove it.

Quick, liberals, look at this graph:

[blogs-images.forbes.com image 850x361]

Now, does lowering the top marginal tax rate increase tax revenue?

Are you convinced by my evidence? No? Clearly your politics are getting in the way of your doing math.

We all know the adage "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics" all this study shows is that people trust their intuitions over a single datum that contradicts their intuition.


So....simply looking at revenue without weighing population growth, inflation, and employment numbers is enough to draw a meaningful conclusion?

If you've never read How to Lie with Statistics I am quite impressed.

/glanced at Hufpo fluff piece
//bookmarked the paper to read when sober
///wonders how well the study was designed
 
2013-09-16 11:58:08 PM  
Well, my problem with this kind of thing is that I nitpick the semantics of a question.  For example, the stem cell one:
President Bush has banned stem cell research in the United States (strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree)

ok,what is the "correct" answer to that?
My mind starts asking the following when I see that question:
- What's the literal definition of the word "ban"?  Does limiting federal funding count as a "ban" in this context?
- Does that mean he has banned (some) stem cell research, or that he's banned (all) stem cell research?  i.e. the statement "Bush has eaten tacos" does not indicate that he has eaten all of the tacos.
- They said "stem cell research" and left out the word "embryonic".  The article doesn't mention anything about research on adult stem cells.

So, I would have probably picked neutral.  Not because I don't know the facts, but because the English language is imprecise.
That's how every test like this works for me.  Maybe I'm an outlier.
 
2013-09-16 11:58:33 PM  
So what I get from the article is that if people are lied early on it is hard to change their minds with facts.
This explains a lot about religion and Fox News being so popular.
 
2013-09-16 11:59:36 PM  
"no because it's different when democrats do it, our numbers are better because we're the party of facts and truth and stuff!"

gawd, this is such a dumb crowd
 
2013-09-16 11:59:46 PM  

dookdookdook: Now, does increased gun sales drive up the deficit?


timujin: You can't answer the question "Now, does lowering the top marginal tax rate increase tax revenue?" by using the graph you presented.


gilgigamesh: The graph does not represent what you claim it does


You are all trying to show why the graph I presented is wrong or misleading, I agree that it is wrong and misleading, that's my point. You wouldn't be disregarding the graph if you believed that lowering the top marginal tax rate actually increased federal receipts. You'd see that there is at least a broad correlation between the two and be satisfied that that is evidence in your favor. Since you disagree with the premise, ideologically, you are all searching for reasons why it is misleading. dook is using post hoc ergo propter hoc arguments, saying they are not necessarily correlated at all, timujin I assume is going for the same thing, saying that the conclusion does not follow the data, and gilgigamesh you also say that the conclusion is too strong given the amount of evidence presented, and I'm not disagreeing with any of it, but the reason you are disagreeing is because the premise goes against what you believe, either via other prior knowledge or personal belief, namely that lowering the marginal tax raet does not, in fact, raise federal receipts.

That was my main point to begin with, we all accept or reject data, initially, based on our intuitions about what is right and wrong. If it goes against what we believe we are skeptical, and look for reasons why the data might be flawed, misleading, or incomplete, it's when we can't, and continue to disbelieve the data that we have a problem. When people were asked whether or not jobs increased under Obama, and looked at a single graph of non-farm payroll data going up, when they disagreed they might have been thinking things like "But what about all of the government jobs lost, were those counted?" Or "but that increase in jobs doesn't even cover the natural population growth of the US, so even though the total numbers rose, in reality a smaller percentage of the population is working" or some other internal justification for disbelieving the data as presented, but the survey can't capture that.

You are rejecting data that I presented to you, exactly as I imagined you would. This demonstrates my point, that just because you are rejecting data presented to you doesn't mean you are rejecting reality, it just means that you are skeptical about a particular datum which goes against your intuitions. We all do that, the question is are our reasons for doing so sound or not, sometimes yes, sometimes no.
 
2013-09-17 12:00:14 AM  

dookdookdook: Mrbogey: Tax rate and revenue are generally accepted to have a link. The exact ratio and affect is up for debate but there's a connection.

So because there is "some" connection, it's cool to spread around a chart that heavily implies a direct and proportional relationship?

What proof do you have that federal deficit and gun sales are linked?

Guns are "generally accepted" to have a link to crime rates, and crime rates are "generally accepted" to have a link to federal spending on law enforcement and prisons and such.

There, now my chart is every bit as legitimate as the first one posted.


Well, that I'll agree with, because neither show what they are claimed to.  Sure, for some years, gun sales go up and so does the deficit, but for a couple of years there gun sales were actually going down as the deficit went up.  Since 2009, it appears that gun sales have increased dramatically, but the deficit has actually fallen in that time.   I mean, based on this, I should do my civic duty and go buy a gun.
 
2013-09-17 12:00:46 AM  
nmrsnr 2013-09-16 10:53:50 PM

Thanks for proving my point while missing it entirely.

3.bp.blogspot.com

How the hell was I wrong, asshole?
 
2013-09-17 12:00:56 AM  

nmrsnr: Honestly, this is not that surprising, nor really as frightening as the article might suggest. Everybody does this, I'd wager that most people who post in this thread do this. I'll prove it.

Quick, liberals, look at this graph:

[blogs-images.forbes.com image 850x361]

Now, does lowering the top marginal tax rate increase tax revenue?

Are you convinced by my evidence? No? Clearly your politics are getting in the way of your doing math.

We all know the adage "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics" all this study shows is that people trust their intuitions over a single datum that contradicts their intuition.


It's funny, but you've done the same thing.  After all, in the Clinton years, the trend of top marginal tax rates going down reversed, but the trend of revenues going up did not.  And in 2000-2004, revenues actually went down, while there is no corresponding increase in top marginal tax rates.

I don't doubt your general premise; liberals are, after all, human, and susceptible to the same human failings as others.  But your example is silly; not only does it require one to believe correlation implies causation, but it also requires one to put stock in something that's not a particularly strong correlation in the first place.
 
2013-09-17 12:03:58 AM  
this is going to be the most unintentionally hilarious thread ever
 
2013-09-17 12:05:34 AM  

gilgigamesh: The graph does not represent what you claim it does.


THE GRAPH DOES NOT REPRESENT ANYTHING AT ALL

1) ignores inflation

2) ignores population

the right side needs to be inflation adjusted per capita receipts in order to mean anything
 
2013-09-17 12:06:05 AM  

nmrsnr: dookdookdook: Now, does increased gun sales drive up the deficit?

timujin: You can't answer the question "Now, does lowering the top marginal tax rate increase tax revenue?" by using the graph you presented.

gilgigamesh: The graph does not represent what you claim it does

You are all trying to show why the graph I presented is wrong or misleading, I agree that it is wrong and misleading, that's my point.


HOW WAS MY ASSESSMENT OF THAT bullshiat GRAPH "INCORRECT" WHEN YOU YOURSELF SAY IT WAS BOTH WRONG AND MISLEADING!?
 
2013-09-17 12:09:48 AM  

nmrsnr: This demonstrates my point, that just because you are rejecting data presented to you doesn't mean you are rejecting reality, it just means that you are skeptical about a particular datum which goes against your intuitions.


I think this is a faulty conclusion/hasty generalization. While I concede that it may apply to some people (namely, laymen who can't be bothered to research sophisticated topics and just want a quick 'gotcha' fact to bolster their argument in a forum thread), there still exists a class of people who can see the big picture, understand all the sophisticated mechanics that produce these types of stats, and are quick to point out where the logic is misapplied, and I don't think they do it from a purely partisan standpoint.

Pointing out flaws in others' arguments is not immediately partisan. It's just saying "hey, there is a deficiency here" and these types of people would do it to liberal-slanted pieces as well as conservative-slanted ones.

At least, I think. I mean, I do it. Sometimes.
 
2013-09-17 12:11:25 AM  
shiatballs
 
2013-09-17 12:11:25 AM  

nmrsnr: Honestly, this is not that surprising, nor really as frightening as the article might suggest. Everybody does this, I'd wager that most people who post in this thread do this. I'll prove it.

Quick, liberals, look at this graph:

[blogs-images.forbes.com image 850x361]

Now, does lowering the top marginal tax rate increase tax revenue?

Are you convinced by my evidence? No? Clearly your politics are getting in the way of your doing math.

We all know the adage "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics" all this study shows is that people trust their intuitions over a single datum that contradicts their intuition.


Now, does raising the top marginal rate decrease tax revenue?  Are you convinced by the evidence?  No?  Then clearly your politics are getting in the way of your doing math.

;-)
 
2013-09-17 12:14:10 AM  
FTA -

"I keep hoping that one more photo of an iceberg the size of Manhattan calving off of Greenland, one more stretch of record-breaking heat and drought and fires, one more graph of how atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen in the past century, will do the trick."

Aaaaaand all credibility is lost.

Here is a picture of a person on welfare.  Accept my objective truth that they need to get a job and get off welfare.  Or admit that In the entire history of the universe, no Fox NewsMSNBC viewers ever changed their minds because some new data upended their thinking.

/joke's on you
//assumes MSNBC viewers exist
 
2013-09-17 12:16:10 AM  

Kittypie070: nmrsnr: dookdookdook: Now, does increased gun sales drive up the deficit?

timujin: You can't answer the question "Now, does lowering the top marginal tax rate increase tax revenue?" by using the graph you presented.

gilgigamesh: The graph does not represent what you claim it does

You are all trying to show why the graph I presented is wrong or misleading, I agree that it is wrong and misleading, that's my point.

HOW WAS MY ASSESSMENT OF THAT bullshiat GRAPH "INCORRECT" WHEN YOU YOURSELF SAY IT WAS BOTH WRONG AND MISLEADING!?


Which one of us are you yelling at?
 
2013-09-17 12:16:37 AM  
in a political context, large swaths of statistics and numeric data points that are in use are considered entirely suspect, precisely because large swaths of them are bullshiat.

i don't know if that's so much of a sociological/psychological insight as it is humans recognizing a track record.
 
2013-09-17 12:16:52 AM  

Kittypie070: HOW WAS MY ASSESSMENT OF THAT bullshiat GRAPH "INCORRECT" WHEN YOU YOURSELF SAY IT WAS BOTH WRONG AND MISLEADING!?


My point is that we all immediately accept or reject data first based upon whether we agree with the premise it is trying to show, not on what the data is showing. The data in front of you showed an inverse correlation between top marginal tax rate and tax receipts, and you rejected it. Why? because you believe that it's bullshiat. The fact that you can disagree with the data sitting right in front of you and not be wrong is why the study is not as scary as it's touting itself to be.
Also, no need to shout, we're arguing on the Internet, not doing anything serious.
 
2013-09-17 12:18:19 AM  

timujin: Which one of us are you yelling at?


That one was at me, I'm sure.
 
2013-09-17 12:19:15 AM  

nmrsnr: the reason you are disagreeing is because the premise goes against what you believe


No, the reason I'm disagreeing is because the chart is obviously trying to convince the viewer of something that is at best not supported by the presented evidence.

Just because basic intellectual honesty may compel me to mock an obvious piece of propaganda doesn't make me a partisan.
 
2013-09-17 12:19:48 AM  
Holy trick-turning Mary Magdalene, this thread is filled with the most insane collection of stupid I've seen on these forums for quite some time.  I don't even want to know what weapons-grade derpfest is hidden in the approximately 25% of the comments that aren't showing up.
 
2013-09-17 12:20:35 AM  

nmrsnr: Kittypie070: HOW WAS MY ASSESSMENT OF THAT bullshiat GRAPH "INCORRECT" WHEN YOU YOURSELF SAY IT WAS BOTH WRONG AND MISLEADING!?

My point is that we all immediately accept or reject data first based upon whether we agree with the premise it is trying to show, not on what the data is showing. The data in front of you showed an inverse correlation between top marginal tax rate and tax receipts, and you rejected it.


No, I didn't reject the data, I said that based on it you couldn't answer the question, it's insufficient data to draw a conclusion.
 
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