RUSH: Let’s get sound bite number one out of the way. I need to refute something here. This is Saturday on NPR’s This American Life. The host is Ira Glass and he did a commentary on what he called the “backfire effect”. He defines the backfire effect as a phenomenon stating that when confronted with evidence disapproving what we believe, most of us ignore that evidence and dig in and become even more entrenched in our beliefs. In other words, nobody changes our mind. Nobody is able to enlighten anybody else. You believe what you believe and if somebody comes along and gives you evidence that you’re wrong, you do not acknowledge it. You dig deeper and get even wronger.
GLASS: When it comes to the big hot-button issues, I mean, climate change and gun control and abortion rights and school vouchers and affirmative action and Obamacare, okay, do you know anybody who has changed their minds? I mean, who firmly was on one side of the issue and then they read a story in the New York Times or they heard something on Rush Limbaugh and now they are firmly on the other side? I’m just gonna guess, like, probably not, right? In fact, the opposite happens. There’s this thing called the backfire effect. It has been documented in all kinds of studies. It shows that when we’re confronted with evidence disapproving what we believe, generally we just dig in and we believe it more.
RUSH: It’s been documented in all kinds of studies. Let me contribute to “all kinds of studies.” That would be real-life evidence provided by numerous callers over 25-plus years we’ve been doing this program. At least once/twice a week, we get somebody calling here gushing how they used to be a lib, but I saved ’em. I changed their minds. I caused them to be enlightened. I caused them to wake up.
It happens multiple times a week on this program, disproving that theory.
I just wanted to get it out of the way.