Psychology researcher Kaitlin Toner, a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University, published a new study in the Oct. 7, 2013, issue of the journal Psychological Science that explains the behavioral basis for the present deadlock in the United States Congress and House of Representatives that has resulted in yet another government shut down.
Both Republican and Democratic ideologues honestly and sincerely believe their opinions are superior to other's opinions according to Dr. Toner. This flagrant bias extends to pundits and the majority of news commentators on the internet and on live broadcasts according to the researcher's analysis of the 2012 election campaign.
The extremity of bias extends to the voting public as demonstrated by part of the research. A 500 person representative sample of the United States population completed a questionnaire about nine controversial political issues: health care, illegal immigration, abortion, government aid to the needy, voter ID laws, income tax rates, torture tactics, affirmative action, and the role of religion in policy making.
Conservatives demonstrated a higher degree of dogmatism and inflexibility in their beliefs.
Both conservatives and liberals exhibited the same level of belief in the superiority of their views but the issues they felt most superior about differed between the two groups. Moderates did not demonstrate a high level of belief in the superiority of their beliefs and views.
The voter’s feelings of superiority are catered to by candidates who share the voter’s viewpoints on key issues. The voter is ultimately responsible for the deadlock in the United States government because the voter elected all the decision makers in Washington based on feelings and not logic.