Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Psychology of "Preference Falsification"

Well, if you read THIS far, it's actually interesting--and VERY germane to such things as "TEA Parties..."

AOSHQ opines that the fresh fertilizer will soon hit the elevated rotational-cooling device based on the upcoming increases in the cost of gasoline. And the splatter will hit the White House.

He then appends some observations about "Preference Falsification" which tend to partially explain the current positive opinions about Obama; in short, AOSHQ doesn't think it's real.

From the book review:

Kuran begins his book with an illustration of a man at his employer's dinner party. Though the man dislikes the homes d├ęcor and the meal served, the man feels compelled to offer false compliments. At the end of the evening, the man kindly says he enjoyed the evening, though he is really happy to be leaving. The fictional person is constrained from being honest by societal pressure and personal fears. Whenever people choose to lie about their true beliefs, Kuran calls that "preference falsification."

Got it? You could call it 'socially-driven opinion quashing,' if you like.

Applications? Sure. Under Communism, for example:

Kuran uses communism as an example of a time when the majority believed differently than their public personas led others to believe. The result was that social change was stifled for decades. When a trigger finally made people feel comfortable in publicizing their beliefs, communism quickly fell.

And, present-day:

Affirmative action is another issue, according to Kuran, where public personas are often different than private. Anonymous polls routinely show that most Americans are against affirmative action. Yet, the practice persists because few people are willing to endure the horrendous social attacks from the minority who demands the programs.

Same thing applies to the Obama Administration. Porkulus was awful--frightful--and has long-term (debt) consequences which are abysmal. But 'give him a chance,' 'maybe it's the right thing,' and 'he's gotta do SOMEthing' were pretty much what was heard from the population.

Then came Chrysler, and now GM.

He still wants to jam in GummintHealthCare and Cap-and-Tax; his Fascistic authoritarian tendencies are coming to the fore, and he's saddled with Pelosi and Reid (not to mention Dave Obey, a loose cannon still largely under wraps).

Back to AOSHQ:

When the trigger eventually comes, people begin feeling comfortable about publicly expressing long-denied beliefs. Which in turn impels others to feel comfortable about doing likewise, which encourages still more of it, etc. Preference falsification is intensified and reinforced by social pressure; but so too is the revelation of true preferences, after the triggering event occurs.
For Obama, that trigger is going to be rising prices, rising taxes, rising interest rates, and almost certainly a second recessionary dip

All interesting possibilities...

1 comment:

Beer, Bicycles and the VRWC said...

I am not confident that there will be a "trigger". As I've said many times before, Obamalove runs strong and deep. OTOH, I have much anecdotal evidence indicating many do not challenge the Obamalove out of fear of being harassed or just because they don't want to deal with the idiocy of it. I am looking to 2010 with cautious optimism.