Of course, another way to use this research is to exploit our misguided tendencies. Not just politics, but advertising does this all the time. With regard to denials, an applied bit of marketing jujitsu suggests one might even sometimes deny what one wants people to believe. I will thus take this opportunity to modestly deny that my forthcoming book, "Irreligion, a Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up," has already been mentioned as a possible Pulitzer Prize winner.
John Allen Paulos, a professor of mathematics at Temple University, is the author of the best-sellers "Innumeracy" and "A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper," as well as of the forthcoming (in December) "Irreligion." His "Who's Counting?" column on ABCNEWS.com appears the first weekend of every month.