NaÃ¯ve realism is the conviction that one sees the world as it is and that when people don't see it in a similar way, it is they that do not see the world for what it is.
Over the years, I have tried to help people see that this contentious debate is not purely a matter of "the evidence," but instead deeply involves such things as stereotypes, confirmation bias, disconfirmation bias, and tribalism. We can now add naÃ¯ve realism to the pot, as it may play a central role.
NaÃ¯ve realism can be propped up with both confirmation bias and disconfirmation bias. When a group shares in the same brand of naÃ¯ve realism, it can serve as the fulcrum for their tribalism. And when one group thinks it "sees the world as it is," and sees the other group as those who "do not see the world for what it is," this breeds a certain degree of arrogance and defensiveness, causing the one group to see the other as being composed of people who are stupid, dishonest, and brain-washed. Such stereotypes feed back into naÃ¯ve realism in the form of confirmation bias (where the one group is constantly looking for anecdotes to support the stereotypical perception) and tribalism (where the one group experiences tribal cohesion as the result of such activity).
Overcoming naÃ¯ve realism is difficult because group dialogue, usually thought to be a good way of helping people to see things from the other point of view, can actually only further polarize opinions on a topic. Ordinary dialogue does not necessarily lead to recognition of the ambivalent nature of "right and wrong" on an issue.
Group dialog is a failure because of the dynamics of stereotypes, confirmation and disconfirmation bias, and pride (both personal and tribal). This explains why group dialog "can actually only further polarize opinions on a topic," as the group dialog puts those forces into motion.
Ross's suggested solution to this problem is to have members of a group discussion each give one point of the other side's argument that they think has some legitimacy. The study that Ross has done on this potential solution to conflict had the impressive result of 100% agreement being reached using this method.
The only problem with this solution is it presumes a willingness, on both sides, to reach some form of conflict resolution. In reality, once the polarization has pushed the two groups into two camps of extremists, there is no desire for conflict resolution, only victory. This is why the two sides become fond of warfare rhetoric and posturing.