“’There Must Be a Reason’: Osama, Saddam, and Inferred Justification”

A great article appeared in the Twitter-feed recently, which discussed the question of why some Americans believed there was a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

“(T)he situation of going to war is a powerful situational heuristic that allows voters to conclude that there is something about their world that justifies going to war. We argue that some citizens believe leaders would not take an action as drastic as war if it were not justified. They then develop affective ties to this conclusion and seek information that confirms it while dismissing information that contradicts it, producing the correlation between information and belief. These social psychological processes were an important feature of the misperception of a link between Saddam and 9/11. The belief in this link was so resilient because it made sense of the administration’s decision to go to war against Iraq.”

Read the full article at http://sociology.buffalo.edu/documents/hoffmansocinquiryarticle_000.pdf