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Motivated Reasoning

Definition

Motivated reasoning is a form of reasoning in which people access, construct, and evaluate arguments in a biased fashion to arrive at or endorse a preferred conclusion. The term motivated in motivated reasoning refers to the fact that people use reasoning strategies that allow them to draw the conclusions they want to draw (i.e., are motivated to draw). Of course, people are not always motivated to confirm their preferred conclusions. Actually, they sometimes are motivated to draw accurate conclusions. However, the term motivated reasoning refers to situations in which people want to confirm their preferred conclusion rather than to situations in which people's reasoning is driven by an accuracy motivation.

The Domain of Motivated Reasoning

Motivated reasoning may be observed in virtually any setting. An important trigger ...

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