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tsuomela : motivated-cognition   31

Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government by Dan M. Kahan, Ellen Peters, Erica Cantrell Dawson, Paul Slovic :: SSRN
"Why does public conflict over societal risks persist in the face of compelling and widely accessible scientific evidence? We conducted an experiment to probe two alternative answers: the “Science Comprehension Thesis” (SCT), which identifies defects in the public’s knowledge and reasoning capacities as the source of such controversies; and the “Identity-protective Cognition Thesis” (ICT) which treats cultural conflict as disabling the faculties that members of the public use to make sense of decision-relevant science. In our experiment, we presented subjects with a difficult problem that turned on their ability to draw valid causal inferences from empirical data. As expected, subjects highest in Numeracy — a measure of the ability and disposition to make use of quantitative information — did substantially better than less numerate ones when the data were presented as results from a study of a new skin-rash treatment. Also as expected, subjects’ responses became politically polarized — and even less accurate — when the same data were presented as results from the study of a gun-control ban. But contrary to the prediction of SCT, such polarization did not abate among subjects highest in Numeracy; instead, it increased. This outcome supported ICT, which predicted that more Numerate subjects would use their quantitative-reasoning capacity selectively to conform their interpretation of the data to the result most consistent with their political outlooks. We discuss the theoretical and practical significance of these findings."
motivated-cognition  numeracy  politics  psychology  bias 
december 2014 by tsuomela
302 Found
"There is often a curious distinction between what the scientific community and the general population believe to be true of dire scientific issues, and this skepticism tends to vary markedly across groups. For instance, in the case of climate change, Republicans (conservatives) are especially skeptical of the relevant science, particularly when they are compared with Democrats (liberals). What causes such radical group differences? We suggest, as have previous accounts, that this phenomenon is often motivated. However, the source of this motivation is not necessarily an aversion to the problem, per se, but an aversion to the solutions associated with the problem. This difference in underlying process holds important implications for understanding, predicting, and influencing motivated skepticism. In 4 studies, we tested this solution aversion explanation for why people are often so divided over evidence and why this divide often occurs so saliently across political party lines. Studies 1, 2, and 3—using correlational and experimental methodologies—demonstrated that Republicans’ increased skepticism toward environmental sciences may be partly attributable to a conflict between specific ideological values and the most popularly discussed environmental solutions. Study 4 found that, in a different domain (crime), those holding a more liberal ideology (support for gun control) also show skepticism motivated by solution aversion."
psychology  political-science  ideology  framing  climate-change  global-warming  environment  gun-control  solutions  motivated-cognition 
november 2014 by tsuomela
Climate Science Communication and the Measurement Problem by Dan M. Kahan :: SSRN
"This paper examines the science-of-science-communication measurement problem. In its simplest form, the problem reflects the use of externally invalid measures of the dynamics that generate cultural conflict over risk and other policy-relevant facts. But at a more fundamental level, the science-of-science-communication measurement problem inheres in the phenomena being measured themselves. The “beliefs” individuals form about a societal risk such as climate change are not of a piece; rather they reflect the distinct clusters of inferences that individuals draw as they engage information for two distinct ends: to gain access to the collective knowledge furnished by science, and to enjoy the sense of identity enabled by membership in a community defined by particular cultural commitments. The paper shows how appropriately designed “science comprehension” tests — one general, and one specific to climate change — can be used to measure individuals’ reasoning proficiency as collective-knowledge acquirers independently of their reasoning proficiency as cultural-identity protectors. Doing so reveals that there is in fact little disagreement among culturally diverse citizens on what science knows about climate change. The source of the climate-change controversy and like disputes is the contamination of education and politics with forms of cultural status competition that make it impossible for diverse citizens to express their reason as both collective-knowledge acquirers and cultural-identity protectors at the same time."
climate-change  global-warming  framing  communication  identity  cognition  motivated-cognition  psychology 
september 2014 by tsuomela
What’s the liberal equivalent of climate denial? - Vox
"So here's one way to potentially unite Krugman, Chait and Kahan: Republicans and Democrats are similarly prone to partisan self-deception on the individual level, but the weakness of the Republican Party establishment has left the Democratic Party more capable of checking its worst impulses on the national level."
politics  motivated-cognition  reasoning  liberal  conservative  bias  partisanship  political-science  fringes 
april 2014 by tsuomela
Contrary Brin: Take the Wager Challenge...and help push back Culture War
"I have found that no amount of facts or evidence will shift an “ostrich” republican back to the old ways of Goldwater and Buckley, in pre-Fox days, when conservatism respected knowledge and facts. Back when the average education level of republicans was higher than democrats, when 40% of scientists were in the GOP, instead of less than 5% today. When knowledge and intellect weren't the openly declared enemy.

Nevertheless, I found a bullet! When faced with absolute denial and perfect assertion-addiction, one thing cracks the turtle shell. Demanding a wager!"
denial  republicans  conservatism  betting  wager  motivated-cognition 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Are the Left and Right Equally Biased?–Debating Dan Kahan
"My guest was Yale’s Dan Kahan, who was also on the show a year earlier, discussing his cultural cognition model. This is a very powerful and increasingly influential account of how different ideological groups–hierarchs, individualists, egalitarians, communitarians–are biased towards rejecting science on particular topics that are, shall we say, in their emotionally defensive “zones.”

Kahan ascribes this to motivated reasoning--e.g., our preexisting emotional commitments, or group commitments, skew our reading of evidence (scientific or otherwise) and lead us to elaborately defend our prior commitments. And because hierarchical-individualists have a very different vision of the “good” society and how it is organized than do egalitarian-communitarians, they accordingly reason very differently about scientific issues that threaten their values (like global warming) than do those on the other side."
politics  psychology  motivated-cognition  reasoning  group  cognition  bias 
april 2012 by tsuomela - home
The Cultural Cognition Project is a group of scholars interested in studying how cultural values shape public risk perceptions and related policy beliefs. Cultural cognition refers to the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs about disputed matters of fact (e.g., whether global warming is a serious threat
academic-center  law  school(Yale)  cognition  culture  motivated-cognition  science  perception  bias  psychology 
august 2011 by tsuomela

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