what is denial? it is the psychological process of substituting an artificial narrative for a real one.
why does denial occur? Because real explanations are not satisfactory to certain minds.
Example: New town shooter kills 26 with one assault rifle.
Alternative narratives: there was a second shooter. no bodies were found, no video has been shown. the whole thing was a scam, a hoax, a staged event.
stimulus for inaccurate narrative : deep belief that guns are a good thing. belief that since I wold never slaughter a classroom full of six year olds, nobody else would either. Belief that B. Obama is an evil man, capable of any degree of deception.
example 2: Global warming is a hoax. either it is not getting hotter, or the heating trend is not explainable in the way scientists state it is.
Stimulus for inaccurate narrative: a deep belief that 7 billion humans lack the ability to impact the atmosphere on a global scale. religious beliefs that our planet was created for our use, with a guarantee that we cannot overuse it. intense dislike of B Obama and a deep conviction that he is an evil man, capable of any degree of deception (see above. :))
Example 3: the democratic party is stealing elections through massive voter fraud.
Stimulus for inaccurate narrative: we lost to Obama twice. it was so obvious that both our guys were so much better than him- surely American voters could not have actually given him a majority vote (even if they previously did, twice, to GWB) .
There is essentially no difference between these examples, in terms of psychology. nd in every case, conservative suspicion and fear lead to the exact behaviors that are Seen as a menace from the political opponent: deception, intransigence, and cheating.
Sadly, me understanding this accomplishes nothing. I have no way of convincing the deniers of the reasons behind their beliefs.