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Ignorance Isn't Bliss: The Danger of Avoiding Tough News

A scary new study confirms the motivations behind North Americans' willful ignorance.


A study published earlier this month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has found a logical reason for the "ignorance is bliss" adage. As it turns out, ignorance is a lovely state to be in—or so the ignorant believe—and those blissfully unaware of the problems related to energy, environmental, and economic issues wish to remain that way.

Steven Shepard of the University of Waterloo in Ontario and co-author Aaron C. Kay of Duke University suggest that "ignorance—as a function of the system justifying tendencies it may activate—may, ironically, breed more ignorance." Shepard and Kay found that ignorance about a certain issue leads to dependence on others, which in turn leads to higher trust in a government, during which a subject actively avoids information about said issue.

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Twenty-Five Percent of Republicans Still Fear ACORN, Which Doesn't Exist Anymore

GOP voters are still worried about a dead organization. Thanks, Fox News!


More evidence emerges all the time to suggest that fearmongering by the conservative media has helped create a permanently paranoid voting bloc. Last year, a shocking number of voters, both Democrats and Republicans, said they believed President Obama had raised their taxes, which isn't anywhere near to being true. And still others believed that the Troubled Asset Relief Program was a terrible failure, which is not accurate either. But today's new poll from Public Policy Polling trumps both of those paranoid delusions.

According to PPP's latest survey of Republican voters, a quarter of respondents believe that ACORN, the voter registration organization, is going to "steal the election" for Obama in 2012. In case you don't know, ACORN ceased operations last year, meaning 25 percent of Republicans still fear a dead organization. Thirty-two percent of Republicans said they're "not sure yet" whether ACORN will aid the president.

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