Writes Gena Gorlin in A Passionate Call for a Commitment to the Truth | Psychology Today:
Indeed, people of all political persuasions seem increasingly willing to uphold their “principles” at any price—including the price of bending or disregarding reality. A recent meta-analysis (link is external) of 41 studies on partisan bias revealed that liberal and conservative participants show equally strong tendencies to distort factual information in line with their respective ideologies. For instance, participants rated the same scientific study as being more methodologically rigorous when told that the results supported versus opposed their political views. Similarly, participants evaluated the same policy proposal more favorably when told it had been endorsed by members of their party, and vice versa. Levels of bias were near-identical among liberal and conservative participants.
Perhaps, then, the one moral concern that most desperately needs defending is the one that would lend credibility to all the rest: loyalty to the truth. Without a commitment to grounding beliefs in what is true, we lack a fundamental motivation to check and validate (and, if need be, abandon or revise) whatever principles we happen to ingest from parents, peers, and professors. As a result, our “moral concerns”—rather than guiding us in the pursuit of a noble vision—may instead urge us blindly down the path of least emotional resistance.
The entire article is a must-read.