The science of Donald Trump's allure
She points to the psychological concept of "ambiguity intolerance" that is felt by some people.
...people high in ambiguity intolerance feel so profoundly uncomfortable with the idea of uncertainty, they will often prefer a slightly negative yet certain outcome to a potentially-more-positive, uncertain one. In other words, people may find Donald Trump to be disagreeable, abrasive, or downright unlikeable. But because of his reputation for "telling it like it is" and "being honest to a fault," they also feel certain that they can believe Trump when he says he's telling the truth.
And, Tannenbaum says, there is a good psychological reason why we're more likely to think Trump is actually being "honest" with what he's saying, even in the face of evidence that suggests he is not.
When people say things that are non-normative, unexpected, or non-self-serving, those things are seen as more likely to be true, and outside observers are more likely to think they have a good chance of really knowing the authentic, deep-down, true personality of the person saying them. It doesn't matter what those statements objectively are.
Trump, she says, is benefiting from this phenomenon because, as he is not saying what you'd "expect" a politician to say, many believe they genuinely know what he is actually like.
Tomorrow, Tannenbaum will look at why many people claim to be against the idea of "political correctness". You can find a link to her work here.