Trump’s best shot at reelection is false-consensus effect

Thinking back to Obama’s campaign for reelection, I recall much talk about how incompetent, evil, and terrible a president he was from his opposition. Not Romney directly but the his likely voters on social media. To the point of Romney feeling moral obligation to defend Obama as not that bad of a person to his own voters. There were daily negative stories about Obama culminating in Benghazi.

Depending on where you sat, most people agreed with either his incompetence or shrewdness. This agreement blinds us to reality.

false-consensus effect

the tendency to assume that one’s own opinions, beliefs, attributes, or behaviors are more widely shared than is actually the case. A robustly demonstrated phenomenon, the false-consensus effect is often attributed to a desire to view one’s thoughts and actions as appropriate, normal, and correct

APA Dictionary

During this time of pandemic, I am seeing a spinning up of negative social media posts about Trump from his opposition. (Even worse than when I wrote Gotcha jerks part I & part II) And an equally defensive amount from his party members. My guess is he will get about the same turnout if this continues just from voters being upset at his unfair* treatment by the opposition.

* Unfair: they will think no one deserves that harsh treatment. Nevermind Obama and Hillary got the same level.

Sharing links that mock a caricature of the Other Side isn’t signaling that we’re somehow more informed. It signals that we’d rather be smug assholes than consider alternative views. It signals that we’d much rather show our friends that we’re like them, than try to understand those who are not.

The ‘Other Side’ Is Not Dumb

I suspect these attacks make Trump’s opposition think good people in no way can justify voting for him. Even as his supporters think only deplorable people would vote against him given these attacks. Both a walking blind. Because we have defined ourselves by our political beliefs.

Perhaps the two most important things to know about the false consensus effect have to do with its potency.  First, false consensus effects still exist for important or self-defining beliefs.  Second, neither education about the false consensus itself nor large rewards for accuracy seem to eliminate the false consensus effect.  This bias is hard to eliminate.   

Your opinions are not as popular as you think they are

Then there are the bots agitating both sides making this effect worse by polluting the newsfeeds with more people agreeing. It is just a mess. And few seem aware of just how they are being manipulated by their biases.

Just Google It

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Saw a friend ask a question about how to setup a store for WordPress on Facebook. This seemed trivial. Just look on Google for the answer.

But, then I had a thought:

What if my working with WordPress for years yields me better results?

First, I certainly have terminology that would give me better results. Like, I would search for “wordpress ecommerce plugin”. But, even if I searched for “best wordpress store”, I bet Google would turn over to me better results than a n00b who is just getting started using it.

Perhaps personalization has forced us to come full circle where people more than ever need to ask the question of their friends to get a better answer?

Counting children’s books

I have not been one to look favorably on counting children’s books in my Goodreads list. However, I am really behind on my reading.

And my kid just had me read Oscar’s Book for the 9th time today alone. I am getting in a lot of reading that isn’t going counted. So, I may just start including those books on my Goodreads when they meet certain criteria.

  1. I’ve read it about 20 times.
  2. I feel like I know the story inside and out.