Brexit and Trump: When Fear Triumphs Over Evidence – Scientific American Blog Network

These are both part of something called the Elaboration Likelihood Model. As it turns out, this model suggests that we rarely can engage in both types of decision-making at once. That means that if we have been lulled into a superficial (peripheral), engagement with the information that we are asked to make decisions about, this largely excludes our ability to process the information deeply (central).

When pundits argue that people don’t need experts, they are actively trying to push you from using central processing to a peripheral approach. They are asking you to turn off your logic and turn on your emotion, because they know that it is difficult to use logic once fear takes over.

This is also why politicians like Trump and the Brexiters like to say they represent “ordinary people.” Of course, “ordinary people” don’t exist. Even if they did, they’d be unlikely to be a billionaire or an old-Etonian who delivers speeches in Latin. Presenters of such arguments are trying to make you feel negative emotions against an imaginary opponent (usually the ‘elites,’ who also don’t actually exist), trying to get you to disregard evidence and logic.

Source: Brexit and Trump: When Fear Triumphs Over Evidence – Scientific American Blog Network

Author: Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he’s published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.