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The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science--And Reality

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The Republican Brain

The Science of Why They Deny Science--And Reality

By Chris Mooney

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Format: Hardcover, 327 pages
Published In: United States, 01 April 2012
Bestselling author Chris Mooney uses cutting-edge research to explain the psychology behind why today's Republicans reject reality-it's just part of who they are. From climate change to evolution, the rejection of mainstream science among Republicans is growing, as is the denial of expert consensus on the economy, American history, foreign policy and much more. Why won't Republicans accept things that most experts agree on? Why are they constantly fighting against the facts? Science writer Chris Mooney explores brain scans, polls, and psychology experiments to explain why conservatives today believe more wrong things; appear more likely than Democrats to oppose new ideas and less likely to change their beliefs in the face of new facts; and sometimes respond to compelling evidence by doubling down on their current beliefs. Goes beyond the standard claims about ignorance or corporate malfeasance to discover the real, scientific reasons why Republicans reject the widely accepted findings of mainstream science, economics, and history-as well as many undeniable policy facts (e.g., there were no "death panels" in the health care bill). Explains that the political parties reflect personality traits and psychological needs-with Republicans more wedded to certainty, Democrats to novelty-and this is the root of our divide over reality. Written by the author of The Republican War on Science , which was the first and still the most influential book to look at conservative rejection of scientific evidence. But the rejection of science is just the beginning...Certain to spark discussion and debate, The Republican Brain also promises to add to the lengthy list of persuasive scientific findings that Republicans reject and deny.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Equations to Refute Einstein 1 PART I POLITICS, FACTS, AND BRAINS 17 Prelude: Liberal Fresco on a Prison Wall 19 1. Denying Minds 26 2. Smart Idiots 42 PART II THE "NATURE" HYPOTHESIS: DANGEROUS CERTAINTY 57 3. Political Personalities 59 4. For God and Tribe 77 5. Don't Get Defensive 89 6. Are Conservatives from the Amygdala? 111 PART III ENTER THE "ENVIRONMENT": TURNING AGAINST CHANGE 127 7. A Tale of Two Republicans 129 8. The Science of Fox News 147 PART IV THE TRUTH: WHO'S RIGHT, WHO'S WRONG, AND WHO UPDATES 169 9. The Reality Gap 171 10. The Republican War on Economics 187 11. The Republican War on History 202 12. What the Frack Is True? 219 PART V THE POLITICAL LABORATORY 239 13. A Liberal Confronts New Data 241 Conclusion: Rescuing Reality 261 Acknowledgments 275 Notes 279 Index 311

About the Author

Chris Mooney is the bestselling author of The Republican War on Science , the host of the "Point of Inquiry" podcast, and the author of "The Intersection" blog for Science Progress. In addition to three books, in the past he has written for Mother Jones , the American Prospect , Harper's , the Washington Post , USA Today , and Slate . He has appeared on The Last Word , The Daily Show , The Colbert Report , Book TV , Science Friday , Morning Joe , and Fresh Air , among other programs.


'The Republican Brain is a fascinating and invigorating book, providing nourishment for enquiring minds...if you're keen to understand the madness of the forthcoming presidential election, The Republican Brain is an extremely good place to start' (, 14th May 2012) 'Mooney follows up his hard-hitting 2005 book with a more nuanced analysis of the reasons why the American right has come to take up positions opposed to the scientific mainstream on issues such as climate change and stem-cell research.' (Financial Times, June 2012)

EAN: 9781118094518
ISBN: 1118094514
Publisher: Wiley (TP)
Dimensions: 23.65 x 16.41 x 2.97 centimetres (0.63 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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