Dr Phil Doesn't Only Resolve Family Feuds, He Now Says He Knows Why The U.S. Is So Divided
Best-known for his antics managing dramatic conflict on television, the psychologist is now diagnosing America's civic condition.
Political division in America reached a boiling point this week, when a Florida man was arrested for sending pipe bombs to critics of Donald Trump.
Opponents of Trump claimed his inflammatory rhetoric against the left and the press has created a climate for such politically motivated violence.
While he's technically a celebrity presenter who's a seasoned family feud arbitrator, Dr Phil McGraw has served up his professional take on it.
The View with special guest, Dr Phil. Image: ABC.
During an appearance on The View on Thursday, Dr Phil contended Americans like Cesar Sayoc, 56 (arrested for mailing explosive devices) suffer from a condition known as "confirmation bias".
He said extreme "tunnel vision" from both political sides prompted supporters to only seek information that confirmed what they already believed.
"The thing about confirmation bias is when you bring someone evidence to the contrary of their belief -- rock solid, irrefutable evidence -- you would think they'd say, 'Okay, I need to revisit that'," he described.
"Not true. If you suffer confirmation bias, it causes them to become even more deeply entrenched [and] defensive about their beliefs, and they do not move their position."
Dr Phil also said he usually chooses to never talk politics but Trump has "done some outrageous things".
Closer to home, Sydney-based psychologist Elizabeth Talbot told ten daily Australians are soon likely to observe this trend.
"I'd say Australia, and most modern cultures, are following in the footsteps of America in this respect," she explained.
"We've adopted their social media platforms and our politicians and 'people of influence' are more and more turning to these platforms to communicate their messages."
User-influenced algorithms through networks like Facebook played a huge role in how we view society and interact with others, Talbot discerned.
Rather than having access to broad, unbiased information from all sides, our personal beliefs are being further reinforced due to deeper divides.
"Confirmation bias then prevents us from objectively altering our beliefs when we're confronted with information in conflict with what we already believe. Instead, we just dig our heels in deeper," she added.
Featured Image: Getty/ABC America
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