The instinct to be right is strong. The instinct to feel right is stronger.
The world of politics reflects human nature in all its rational and irrational glory. How we govern ourselves and make decisions, use and often abuse power, reflect our deepest fears at least as much as our aspirations and ideals.
Quite simply, cognition refers to thinking. There are the obvious applications of conscious reasoning—doing taxes, playing chess, deconstructing Macbeth—but thought takes many subtler forms, such as interpreting sensory input, guiding physical actions, and empathizing with others.