stomping of the foot (before storming out of class)

I'll never forget the student who charged out of one of my first philosophy classes. The professor had challenged the student's view of religion and the young man stomped his foot, turned red, yelled, and left the room.

Why such an emotional outburst? Perhaps his beliefs were built on a weak foundation. A little rhetoric from an authority figure threatened to topple the structure. When we accept the conclusions of other people, never figuring out the "why" for ourselves, weak lay a weak foundation. Should we intentionally avoid opposing view points? It turns out we naturally steer clear of conflict.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found the less certain you are about what you believe, the more likely you’ll stay away from opposing viewpoints (and freak out when you run across opposing opinion). After reviewing nearly 100 studies, they came to the conclusion that people tend minimize their exposure when they are less certain and less confident in their own position. In fact, we're nearly twice as likely to completely avoid differing opinions than we are to give consideration to different ideas. For those who are close-minded the percentage jumps even higher. Three-out-of-four times the close-minded person will stick to what supports their own conclusions. Details of the study are in the Psychological Bulletin by Researchers.

Stephen Goforth