American Voters: Plenty of Opinions, But Without a Clue

… American voters are deeply polarized but at the same time greatly overestimate their own political intellect. “We predict that asking people to explain how a policy works will make them aware of how poorly they understand the policy,” [Philip] Fernbach writes, “which will cause them to subsequently express more moderate attitudes and behaviors.”

And indeed, that’s just what the researchers found. After subjects tried (and usually failed) to explain a policy they judged as laudable or odious, they not only revised downward their level of true understanding, but also moderated their position on the issue. [cont.]

Kevin Charles Redmon, Pacific Standard

See also: I’m Right! (For Some Reason)