Research explains why Donald Trump maintains support despite shocking behavior.
Four main reasons.
- Dunning-Kruger effect: people with low ability don't recognize their low abilities, and people with high abilities think what's easy for them is easy for everyone else.
- Hypersensitivity to Threat: conservatives have exaggerated response to fear.
- Terror Management Theory: When reminded of our own mortality, we move more strongly to defend those with whom we identify, be it worldview, nationality, or ethnicity.
- High Attentional Engagement: Trump can hold our attention longer than anyone else. Literally. Hillary, Bill, Barack, none of them can consistently hold our attention longer he can even if you disagree with everything he says. He's a showman. And to the huge demographic addicted to reality TV, that's a grabber.
So what can we do to potentially change the minds of Trump loyalists before voting day in November? As a cognitive neuroscientist, it grieves me to say that there may be nothing we can do. The overwhelming majority of these people may be beyond reach, at least in the short term. The best we can do is to motivate everyone else to get out to the booths and check the box that doesn’t belong to a narcissistic nationalist who has the potential to damage the nation beyond repair.
This article agrees with my own declaration: there is no reasoning with that crowd. Some of them are leaving on their own but the base is still rock solid and cannot be reached.
The only thing we can do is outnumber them at the elections. And that assumes the elections aren't already compromised to the point that they're meaningless.