motivatied reasoning

'Motivated Reasoning' said to underly widespread belief in Bush Admin's 911-Iraq Connection Big Lie

"How We Support Our False Beliefs"

ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2009) — In a study published in the most recent issue of the journal Sociological Inquiry, sociologists from four major research institutions focus on one of the most curious aspects of the 2004 presidential election: the strength and resilience of the belief among many Americans that Saddam Hussein was linked to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
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One unexpected pattern that emerged from the different justifications that subjects offered for continuing to believe in the validity of the link was that it helped citizens make sense of the Bush Administration's decision to go to war against Iraq.
"We refer to this as 'inferred justification,'" says Hoffman "because for these voters, the sheer fact that we were engaged in war led to a post-hoc search for a justification for that war.
"People were basically making up justifications for the fact that we were at war," he says.