A neuroscientist takes on the remarkable loyalty and obliviousness of those who support and follow Trump. It’s a fairly comprehensive article, starting with the well known Dunning-Kruger effect, and ending with the unfortunate affliction of being entertainment addicted. Just a bit from the end of the article here, click over for the full read.
- High Attentional Engagement
According to a recent study that monitored brain activity while participants watched 40 minutes of political ads and debate clips from the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is unique in his ability to keep the brain engaged. While Hillary Clinton could only hold attention for so long, Trump kept both attention and emotional arousal high throughout the viewing session. This pattern of activity was seen even when Trump made remarks that individuals didn’t necessarily agree with. His showmanship and simple messages clearly resonate at a visceral level.
Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s addiction with entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn’t matter what Trump actually says because he’s so amusing to watch. With Donald, you are always left wondering what outrageous thing he is going to say or do next. He keeps us on the edge of our seat, and for that reason, some Trump supporters will forgive anything he says. They are happy as long as they are kept entertained.
Of course these explanations do not apply to all Trump supporters. In fact, some are likely intelligent people who know better, but are supporting Trump to be rebellious or to introduce chaos into the system. They may have such distaste for the establishment and Hillary Clinton that their vote for Trump is a symbolic middle finger directed at Washington.
Full article here. I found the Hypersensitivity to Threat and Terror Management Theory sections very interesting. Going by that, it’s much easier to see why so many people have flocked to Trump, and manage to defend every horrible, evil thing he says.