Hot Passion Versus Cold Reason: An Expectancy-Value-Cost Conceptualization of What Motivates Partisanship Versus Rationality

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Soleas, Eleftherios
rationalism , motivation , partisanship , post-truth
It is about as fashionable as it has ever been to disagree with objective fact. Being right is to some a matter of opinion rather than a position within reality. Volume seems to drown out reason. This paper is not an indictment of left, centre, or right, but rather a conceptual explanation for what motivates the choice, implicit or explicit, to ignore factual arguments and instead stand on emotional or irrational responses– what has come to be called post–Truth. Expectancy–Value–Cost theory (EVC) offers a unique insight into the latent processes that influence and convolute this otherwise straight–forward processing of presented facts into schemata and opinion. The driving forces behind tasks can be coalesced into three constructs: expectancies, subjective task values, and perceived costs. Motivation, in this way, can be thought of as the function of the expectancies and subjective task values balanced against the costs of the task. Using examples as guided theoretical case studies, this study illustrates how these motivational dynamics interact in real situations. Using the learning from the cases as well as leveraging approaches from other studies, potential solutions and guidance for teachers and the wider education community are offered with the goal of instilling an affinity and proclivity for reason and rationalism in an increasingly partisan world.
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