Nov 27, 2017

People are less dismissive of ideas they hear than those they read, study finds

A Bernie Sanders supporter yells to delegates at the Democratic National Convention. Photo: Matt Slocum / AP

People expressing polarizing ideas by speaking receive less scrutiny and are deemed more reasonable than those doing so in writing, according to a new study.

Why it matters: Juliana Schroeder, the lead researcher on the study, told the Washington Post her findings reveal, and could help diminish, one reason for increased political division. Technology's effect of making human interactions more text-based, Schroeder says, can be "dehumanizing, and may increase polarization."

"When two people hold different beliefs, there is a tendency not only to recognize a difference of opinion but also to denigrate the mind of one's opposition," the study's authors wrote, per the Post. "Because another person's mind cannot be experienced directly, its quality must be inferred from indirect cues."

How they did it: Three experiments were conducted to expose volunteers to topics they would have strong feelings about, such as war, abortion and music, the Post reported. The participants were then asked to judge the people explaining their argument. Researchers found people were less likely to find someone mentally incapable someone whose argument they listened to compared to one they read.

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Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.

The Fed may be setting the table for 2020 rate cuts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Fed looks to be laying the groundwork to lower U.S. interest rates this year, just as they did in April 2019 before cutting rates in July, September and October.

Why it matters: A Fed rate cut makes taking on debt more attractive for U.S. consumers and businesses, helping to juice the economy, but also puts the central bank in a weaker position to fight off a potential recession.

Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in a $13 billion deal

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Morgan Stanley is planning to buy E*Trade Financial Corp. in a $13 billion all-stock deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, with plans to acquire the company known for helping everyday Americans manage their money.

Why it matters: The deal, which would be the largest by a major American bank since the financial crisis, signals Morgan Stanley‘s desire to bulk up in wealth management.