Political ideology can corrupt the mind, and science.
– E. O. Wilson
Another interesting (and dangerous) part of ideologies and bias are the effects on thought. Ideological preservation implants itself into the mind quite easily. People obviously have their biases and read things how they want to, leading to blatant confirmation bias. However, ideologues go much farther, not allowing or giving any possible thought to alternate explanations most of the time. Otherwise, they risk their narrative being shattered. Thus, ideologues need to practice this far more than normal individuals.
Let’s take a simple example: the second amendment.
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed
The process goes something like this: the statement is read in the base language. Additional information such as context are thought of as well. This goes into the mind to be processed by the brain. Then, it hits the “ideological part” of the brain. An NRA member will read the 2nd amendment will focus on the “right of the People to keep and bear arms” segment. An gun control activist will focus on the “well regulated militia” segment. The other parts of the statement will most likely be ignored. Again, we read what we want, but ideologues have a bigger duty to preserve the narrative, and thus the typical bias is enhanced.
Another example is the controversy and narrative around the new Ghostbusters movie. The narrative is that anyone who does not want to see the movie is just a sexist. Any other explanation can be given, such as the movie is not funny or the special effects are bad, but this goes against the narrative. The narrative must be preserved at all costs.
On a different note, the narrative becomes pervasive when it is mixed with identity politics. The narrative needs to be preserved, even with non-arguments. For example, a male saying that the wage gap does not exist would be declared a sexist. One can point to a female saying that the wage gap does not exist, and the answer is usually “internalized misogyny” or they are “uneducated”, all of which are attacks on the individual instead of their position. The narrative implants itself in the brain. There is no possible way a female or a “true feminist” could argue against a feminist narrative or argument. So there has to be some kind of alternate explanation. It is difficult if not impossible to argue against non-arguments. Ideological preservation is the only thing that the ideologue cares about. It again goes deeper than bias, because the bias is necessary for the ideology’s survival. There is no possible way for an ideologue to think neutrally.