It would be tempting to read this Washington Post article and sneer in triumph about the dumbness of reactionary Republicans. But... that would be just as dumb and reactionary.
The research would appear to show that conservative thinkers become more entrenched in their opinions when confronted with a denial or correction:
Political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler provided two groups of volunteers with the Bush administration's prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. One group was given a refutation -- the comprehensive 2004 Duelfer report that concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction before the United States invaded in 2003. Thirty-four percent of conservatives told only about the Bush administration's claims thought Iraq had hidden or destroyed its weapons before the U.S. invasion, but 64 percent of conservatives who heard both claim and refutation thought that Iraq really did have the weapons. The refutation, in other words, made the misinformation worse.
Aha! Game, set and match, isn't it? But... hang on a minute:
Bullock, Nyhan and Reifler are all Democrats.
Ah. Then I think that does change things somewhat. Because to believe the research from people who clearly have an agenda would be as simplistic and wrong as the kind of attitudes the research claims it is attempting to expose. Everyone needs a pinch of salt... a bloody big pinch of salt when it comes to 'research' being carried out by people with an axe to grind and potentially a conclusion they would like to reach.
So yes, it's an appealing theory, and quite probably it would fit in with my pre-existing prejudices - which is exactly why it needs to be challenged. You run the risk of falling into a giant bear trap if you accept such things unquestioningly.