FYI, the poll that John and a bunch of you experienced uses a psychological effect called priming to boost Republican poll numbers. A cognitive scientist named Daniel Kahneman won a Nobel prize a while back for describing how it works: when the poll prompts you to think about four ‘issues’ that define conservative thinking, it makes you more concerned about those issues and therefore more conservative. The effect has enough force to push the numbers a bit in the right direction, if not enough to sway people like me who get physically ill at the idea of president Romney. One of the defining feature of these kinds of cognitive weakness, Kahneman found, is that everyone thinks they are immune but no one is. Not as bad as a push poll (“would it affect your vote if you knew that Romney tortures cats? Push one for yes.”) but it would still get you laughed out of intro to psych. I strongly recommend Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow for a much more thorough treatment of the topic.
Chat about whatever.