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Study Finds 9 out of 10 Americans Prefer Their Own Facts

Last updated on March 7, 2024

A new study published in the esteemed journal “Not The Onion” has revealed a startling truth about the American public: an overwhelming majority (90%, to be exact) prefer facts that conform to their pre-existing beliefs. Researchers were shocked… well, not that shocked.

“It turns out, people aren’t big fans of being wrong,” deadpans Dr. Polly Wannabelive, lead author of the study. “Who knew?”

The study involved presenting participants with a variety of factual statements, some demonstrably true, others demonstrably false. Participants were then asked to rate their “gut feeling” about the truthfulness of each statement. Unsurprisingly, facts that aligned with their political leanings were deemed inherently trustworthy, while those challenging their worldview were dismissed as “fake news” or “liberal propaganda.”

Social media, unsurprisingly, amplified these biases. Participants clung to echo chambers filled with information that reinforced their existing beliefs, while readily dismissing any contradictory evidence. “Facts are subjective, sweaty!” one particularly passionate commenter posted on a meme supporting their preferred narrative.

The implications of this study are concerning, to say the least. Civil discourse seems like a quaint relic of the past. Facts become mere opinions, and truth is whatever you believe it to be.

“It’s like living in a reality TV show where everyone is the star and the only plot point is who can shout the loudest,” sighs Dr. Wannabelive.

The study offers no easy solutions. Critical thinking skills appear to be in short supply, and the internet thrives on outrage, not nuance.

But, the researchers do offer a glimmer of hope. 10% of participants did exhibit a willingness to consider facts that challenged their beliefs. Maybe, just maybe, that small percentage is enough to prevent us from devolving into a society where 2+2 equals whatever number best suits your political agenda.

Or maybe not. Only time, and a whole lot of fact-checking, will tell.

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