Uncertainty.

/Uncertainty.

What may be surprising, however, is the research showing that people high in ambiguity intolerance feel so profoundly uncomfortable with the idea of uncertainty, they will often prefer a slightly negative yet certain outcome to a potentially-more-positive, uncertain one. In other words, people may find Donald Trump to be disagreeable, abrasive, or downright unlikeable. But because of his reputation for “telling it like it is” and “being honest to a fault,” they also feel certain that they can believe Trump when he says he’s telling the truth.

Essentially, Trump comes across as the “dependable” candidate — to the extent that you can dependably count on him to consistently say anything and everything on his mind, and you don’t have to worry that he’s trying to hide what he truly thinks or feels. To someone who hates ambiguity, that candidate probably feels a lot more intuitively comforting than a more pleasant, likeable candidate who runs the risk of actually being an authentic-self-masking “flip-flopper.” For the significant faction of the conservative voter base that will naturally feel quite anxious when things are ambiguous and will cringe at the thought of a politician whom they find difficult to read, a candidate who seems to be “putting it all out there” and provides no room for ambiguity regarding his political positions will be refreshing — and quite desirable.

–Melanie Tannenbaum on Trump psychology.

This is specifically about Trump, but can apply to any oh-dear-god-they’re-so-awful-why-are-they-so-popular sort of personality. And while the article is talking about liberal/conservative divide in US politics, I still see this same sort of behaviour a lot in ostensibly progressive circles. That is, people will flock behind someone who’s obnoxious, but forceful with their (very polarised) opinions, at the expense of milder people who either see more nuance or are more likely to shift their stances on things.

2016-11-17T21:00:38+00:0019th November, 2015|Tags: culture|1 Comment
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