Bagster said:Elapid, it would be very rare that a person would approach a topic in a purely unbiased manner. Most people have a particular personal view on a subject and they will tend to in the main look for evidence to support that view. To what extent they do this will depend upon the strength of their initial thoughts on the matter. Take Lance for instance. People who enter this forum will generally have a view about him as both a person and or as a rider. If your initial view of him is negative (or vice versa) it will take a great deal to shift you from that view and you will tend to look to support that view from the available 'evidence' that supports it. I am not saying that people cannot form opinions but by and large we enter a discussion about a topic because our opinions on it are already preformed one way or another to varying degrees. Those opinions are not necessarily based on facts but can nonetheless be strongly held. It takes a great deal of convincing to get people to change to a contrary opinion. Far more than it does to reinforce beliefs already held and people will tend to look for evidence to support their perceptions around an issue.
This is more like it - I agree with the theory that people will already have formed a general opinion and usually look more favorably at the content that supports their initial view.
You bring up Lance as an example. I think you will find that most here on this forum were one time Lance supporters - as indeed is the case with me.
Of course as circumstances change and more information becomes available our perceptions can change too. From reading between the lines of many of Lances sternest critics - on this forum - it appears that with the L'Equipe article, Operation Puerto and the Landis affair all happening in a short period, a lot of supporters were forced to re-evaluate and question their initial beliefs.