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Abstract

Why do members of the public disagree - sharply and persistently - about facts on which expert scientists largely agree? We designed a study to test a distinctive explanation: the cultural cognition of scientific consensus. The "cultural cognition of risk" refers to the tendency of individuals to form risk perceptions that are congenial to their values. The study presents both correlational and experimental evidence confirming that cultural cognition shapes individuals' beliefs about the existence of scientific consensus, and the process by which they form such beliefs, relating to climate change, the disposal of nuclear wastes, and the effect of permitting concealed possession of handguns. The implications of this dynamic for science communication and public policy-making are discussed.

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... Podľa zistení prehľadovej štúdie výskumníci vychádzajú z rôznych teórií a modelov naprieč sociálnymi vedami k tomu, aby vysvetlili fungovanie jedného či viacerých prediktorov. Patria medzi ne teória hodnoty-presvedčenianormy (value belief norm theory -VBN) (pozri Stern et al., 1995); téza anti-reflexivity (the antireflexivity thesis) (pozri McCright, 2016); teória rodovej socializácie (gender socialization theory) (pozri McCright, 2010); teória postmateriálnych hodnôt (postmaterialist value theory) (pozri Inglehart, 1997) a kultúrna teória (cultural theory) (pozri Kahan et al., 2011). Shwom a kolektív (2015) vo svojej prehľadovej kapitole taktiež uvádzajú teóriu rodovej socializácie, teóriu hodnoty-presvedčenia-normy, teóriu postmateriálnych hodnôt a teóriu kultúrnej kognície (cultural cognition theory), ktorá vychádza z kultúrnej teórie. ...
... Efekt politickej orientácie je v Spojených štátoch natoľko silný, že moderuje vplyv ďalších kľúčových prediktorov klimatických postojov (McCright, 2011;. Viacerí autori (McCright, 2011;Shwom et al., 2015) pojednávajú o politickom moderujúcom efekte (political moderator effect), podľa ktorého politická orientácia moderuje vzťah medzi dosiahnutým vzdelaním (Hamilton, 2008(Hamilton, , 2010Hamilton a Keim, 2009;McCright a Dunlap, 2011b), vedeckou gramotnosťou (Hamilton et al., 2012) či deklarovaným pochopením klimatickej zmeny (Hamilton, 2010;Krosnick et al., 2000;Malka et al., 2009 Tento vzorec sa pripisuje vzájomne súvisiacim a prekrývajúcim sa sociálnopsychologickým procesom, ako sú skreslená asimilácia 40 (biased assimilation) (Kahan et al., 2011), elitné podnety 41 (elite cues) (Krosnick et al., 2000;McCright, 2011), motivované uvažovanie 42 (motivated reasoning) (Hart a Nisbet, 2011), diskonfirmačné skreslenie 43 (disconfirmation bias) (Feldman et al., 2012), posilňujúce sa špirály 44 (reinforcing spirals) (Zhao, 2009) či teória spracovávania informácii 45 (information processing theory) (McCright, 2011;Wood a Vedlitz, 2007). Tie vysvetľujú, ako občania selektívne prijímajú informácie 40 V prípade skreslenej asimilácie sa jedná o tendenciu ľudí preberať nové informácie, ktoré potvrdzujú validitu ich dovtedajších presvedčení a názorov a naopak odmietať informácie, ktoré by ich napádali (Jacquet et al., 2014). ...
... vyžaduje väčšiu ekonomickú redistribúciu či vládne zásahy do trhového hospodárstva. Naopak ľudia s rovnostárskymi a komunitárnejšími hodnotami sa budú pohoršovať nad obchodom a priemyslom ako formami vedúcimi k nespravodlivým rozdielom a budú tak viac vnímať aj environmentálne riziká (Kahan et al., 2011;. ...
Thesis
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The dissertation aims to map and analyse in detail the climate attitudes and behaviour of the Czech public. It is based on representative questionnaire surveys conducted in the Czech Republic. In the introductory chapter, the attitudes and behaviour of the Czech society regarding climate change are characterised, and their development over the last years is presented. The dissertation follows a research tradition that seeks to explore and describe relevant predictors of climate attitudes and behaviour at the individual level. The theoretical part of the thesis presents the theoretical background used in this research tradition and provides an overview of factors potentially influencing climate attitudes and behaviour. It summarises the existing knowledge on their influence on climate variables, based on a search of meta-analyses, review studies and analyses of international surveys. The empirical part of the thesis aims to identify and present the factors that most significantly influence the attitudes and behaviour of the Czech public in the field of climate change and to compare them with the findings of previous studies. The basis for its elaboration are data sets from two large-scale representative questionnaire surveys, Česká veřejnost a změna klimatu 2015 and České klima 2021. In each survey, predictors of ten selected climate variables were identified using regression analyses. The influence of sociodemographic variables on climate attitudes and behaviour is, with few exceptions, relatively weak and less consistent in the Czech Republic. As expected, there is a strong influence of environmental attitudes on most climate variables and also of basic climate attitudes on support for climate policies and pro-climate behaviour, which have not yet been explored in the context of Czech society. Compared to previous studies, several new potential predictors of climate variables were included in the regression analyses. The results show a positive effect of the amount of time that respondents spend in nature, media interest in the environment, the opinion that the Czech state should address problems that threaten the future, and a negative evaluation of the environment in the place of residence. On the contrary, the influence of a hedonistic attitude is significantly negative.
... For example, consumers who consume large amounts of alcohol were found to have lower risk perceptions for alcohol consumption [14], so HWLs may be less effective for these consumers. Furthermore, the reaction to and acceptance of government interventions are also affected by personal opinions of governments' roles in restricting individual rights to protect citizens, which are called individualistic values [30]. Staub, Fuchs [22] found that individualistic values are a major determinant of consumers' acceptance of HWLs on wine bottles. ...
... Further, we assessed participants' perceived social norms of wine and vodka consumption, respectively, as well as their perceived positive health effects and perceived benefits of alcohol consumption generally. Finally, we used a scale by Kahan, Jenkins-Smith [30] to measure participants' individualistic values, which may be relevant to HWL implementations on alcohol containers. The following subsections provide more detailed information about the various parts of this study. ...
... In our analysis, we estimated numbers of standard glasses by multiplying consumption frequencies by consumption quantities. The answer options for consumption frequency were coded based on numbers of occasions per month: I do not drink wine (0), less than once a month (0.5), about once a month (1), several times a month (2), about once a week (4), several times a week (12), and daily (30). The answer options were recoded into specific numbers of glasses: less than a glass (0.5), 1-2 glasses (1.5), 2-3 glasses (2.5), 3-4 glasses (3.5), 4-5 glasses (4.5), 1 bottle (7.5), or more than 1 bottle (8). ...
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Background Wine consumption has a particular place in the culture of many European countries, and beliefs that wine offers health benefits are widespread. High consumption of wine and other alcoholic beverages among many Europeans correlates with alcohol-related accidents and disease burdens. Health warning labels (HWLs) on alcohol containers have been increasingly recommended to deter consumers from drinking. However, findings on the impact of HWLs on consumers’ behavior have been mixed. Moreover, many European consumers have been found to reject the use of warning labels as a policy intervention, especially for wine, perhaps due to its cultural and economic importance. Methods An online study with a between-subjects design was conducted in Switzerland ( N = 506) to assess whether HWLs can influence the perceived risk associated with drinking wine and vodka, a beverage insignificant to Swiss culture. Participants were presented an image of either a wine or vodka bottle with or without an HWL presenting a liver cancer warning statement. They were then asked to indicate their perceived risk of regularly consuming the depicted beverage. Acceptance and rejection of HWLs were also assessed. Results The perceived risk of vodka consumption exceeded the corresponding risk for wine but was unaffected by an HWL. Perceived health benefits were the main, negative predictor of perceived consumption risk. Participants mainly rejected HWLs due to their perceived effectiveness, perceived positive health effects, social norms, and individualistic values. Conclusions Perceived risk is an important determinant of drinking behavior, and our results suggest that HWLs may be unable to alter risk perceptions. Furthermore, a strong belief in the health benefits of alcohol consumption, particularly wine consumption, reduce risk perceptions and may be unaffected by HWLs.
... Thesis (Kahan et al., 2011) may help explain some of the inter-subject variability. For example, the participants who reacted most negatively to the consensus on GM food safety were environmental activists. ...
... Finally, given that the backfire effect has been observed in several experiments (Cook & Lewandowsky, 2011;Ecker & Ang, 2019;Kahan, 2013;Kahan et al., 2011;Nyhan & Reifler, 2010) but has rarely, or not at all been observed in several large scale studies (Guess & Coppock, 2018;Schmid & Betsch, 2019;Wood & Porter, 2019), we formulated the following hypothesis: ...
... However, chatbots are less likely to be effective if the gap stems from politically motivated science denialism (e.g. Kahan et al., 2011Kahan et al., , 2012. The use of chatbots to facilitate scientific communication (Altay, Schwartz, et al., 2020) has been theorized to be effective on the basis of the interactive theory of reasoning (Mercier & Sperber, 2017). ...
Thesis
Americans are more worried about misinformation than about sexism, racism, terrorism, and climate change. Fears over misinformation on social media are overblown. Misinformation represents a minute proportion of the news that people consume online (~ 1%), and a small minority of people account for most of the misinformation consumed and shared online. People, on average, are good at detecting fake news and identifying reliable sources of information. People do not believe everything they see and read on the internet. Instead, they are active consumers of information who domesticate technologies in unexcepted ways. It’s very unlikely that social media exacerbates the misinformation problem, that fake news contributes to important political events or that falsehoods spread faster than the truth. Yet, some fake news stories do go viral, and understanding why, despite their inaccuracy, they go viral is important. In a series of experiments, we identified a factor that, alongside accuracy, drives the sharing of true and fake news: the ‘interestingness-if-true’ of a piece of news, e.g. if alcohol was a cure against COVID-19, the pandemic would end in an unprecedented international booze-up. In three experiments (N = 904), participants were more willing to share news they found more interesting-if-true, as well as news they deemed more accurate. They rated fake news less accurate but more interesting-if-true than true news. People may not share news of questionable accuracy by mistake, but instead because the news has qualities that compensate for its potential inaccuracy, such as being interesting-if-true. Despite these qualities, why are most people are reluctant to share fake news? To benefit from communication, receivers should trust less people sharing fake news. And the costs of sharing fake news should be higher than the reputational benefits of sharing true news. Otherwise we would end up trusting people misleading us half of the time. Four experiments (N = 3,656) support this hypothesis: sharing fake news hurts one’s reputation in a way that is difficult to fix, even for politically congruent fake news. Most participants asked to be paid to share fake news (even when politically congruent), and asked for more when their reputation was at stake. During the second part of my PhD, I tested solutions to inform people efficiently. I found that discussing in small groups the scientific evidence on Genetically Modified (GM) food safety and the usefulness of vaccines changed people’s minds in the direction of the scientific consensus. To scale up the power of discussion, we created a chatbot that emulated the most important traits of discussion. We found that rebutting the most common counterarguments against GMOs with a chatbot led to more positive attitudes towards GMOs than a non-persuasive control text and a paragraph highlighting the scientific consensus. However, the dialogical structure of the chatbot seemed to have mattered more than its interactivity. During the pandemic, we deployed a chatbot to inform the French population about COVID- 19 vaccines. Interacting a few minutes with this chatbot, which answered the most common questions about COVID-19 vaccines, increased people’s intention to get vaccinated and had a positive impact on their attitudes towards the vaccines. In the end, people are not stupid. When provided with good arguments, they change their mind in the direction of good arguments. Most people avoid sharing misinformation because they care about their reputation. We do not live in a post-truth society in which people disregard the truth. Overall, we should probably be more concerned about the large portion of people who do not trust reliable sources and are uninformed because they do not follow the news, rather than the minority of people who trust unreliable sources and are misinformed.
... Our analysis builds upon previous work by Cherry et al. (2014Cherry et al. ( , 2017 by examining support for environmental policy conditioned on individuals' cultural worldview. The cultural worldview metric we use-developed by Kahan et al. (2011a) and adopted by others [such as Cherry et al. (2014)]-is not bound to geographic location, but to individual worldviews. As such, it is a broader metric than the socio-demographic factors and individuals' attitudes towards environmental policy used in other studies as it captures individuals' perceptions of the tension between individuals and society. ...
... Following work by Kahan et al. (2011a), respondents answer a series of worldview questions that place them on a spectrum across two dimensionsindividualist-communitarian and hierarchical-egalitarian -enabling an investigation of cultural worldview on WTP values. Kahan et al. (2011a) describe the individualist-communitarian dimension as relating to attitudes toward social ordering of those that expect individuals to pursue their own well-being without assistance versus those that believe that society has an obligation to defend collective welfare and quash competing individual interests. ...
... Following work by Kahan et al. (2011a), respondents answer a series of worldview questions that place them on a spectrum across two dimensionsindividualist-communitarian and hierarchical-egalitarian -enabling an investigation of cultural worldview on WTP values. Kahan et al. (2011a) describe the individualist-communitarian dimension as relating to attitudes toward social ordering of those that expect individuals to pursue their own well-being without assistance versus those that believe that society has an obligation to defend collective welfare and quash competing individual interests. The hierarchicalegalitarian dimension is defined as relating to individuals' attitudes toward a social ordering that connects authority to social roles based on certain characteristics, such as race, gender, and class (Kahan et al. 2011a, b). ...
Article
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Recent research in the social psychology literature suggests that personally held beliefs may play a pivotal role in individuals’ acceptance of environmental policy. Using the contingent valuation method framework, we investigate the role of cultural worldview on individuals’ support for, and valuation of, an environmental policy that differs by its underlying cause. Results suggest that willingness to pay point estimates for management action (1) can be influenced by cultural worldviews; and (2) are dependent on the cause of environmental degradation. We also extend the examination of potential endogeneity in ex-post perceived survey consequentiality and willingness to pay measures. We find some evidence that cultural worldviews influence consequentiality and that the framing of the environmental policy scenario can also influence whether an endogenous relationship exists between the randomly assigned payment instrument and the consequentiality measure.
... In these instances, a host of factors come into play including perceptions about the validity and nature of science, the latter entailing the ontological and epistemological assumptions of science, how science and scientists work, and the relationship between science and society (Author, 2015; McComas, Clough, & Almazroa, 1998). Sociocultural factors such as ideologies, identity, socioeconomic situation, religion, gender, etc. (Herman, 2013(Herman, , 2015Allchin, 2011Allchin, & 2012Hodson, 2009;Kahan, 2013Kahan, & 2015Kahan et al., 2011) also play a role in shaping a worldview that is manifested in beliefs, emotions, thinking and choices (Herman, 2015(Herman, , 2021Cobern, 1993Cobern, , 1996Hodson, 2009;Lynch & McKenna, 1990;Oulton et al., 2004). This is an uncorrected final copy of Herman, B. C., Clough, M. P., Asha, R. (2022). ...
... Sociocultural membership and personal beliefs can erratically bias people's views about the science regarding, and promote or deter action that would assist in addressing, such issues. For instance, Kahan, Jenkins-Smith, and Braman (2011) write about the impact of cultural cognition whereby risk perceptions This is an uncorrected final copy of Herman, B. C., Clough, M. P., Asha, R. (2022). Socioscientific issues thinking and action in the midst of science-in-the-making. ...
... This phenomenon appears to diminish when people encounter ideas that aren't perceived as uncertain and perhaps controversial (Kahan, 2015). For instance, Kahan et al. (2011) surveyed 1,500 members of the U.S. public investigating the magnitude of the relationship between peoples' cultural values and their perceptions of the scientific consensus and the credibility and trustworthiness of experts regarding three controversial issues. They determined that the disparities occurring between the culturally defined groups' perceptions of the scientific consensus and trustworthiness of experts were the largest regarding global warming, lesser with handgun regulation, and lesser still with nuclear waste disposal, illustrating that the level of perceived political polarization on an issue is related to trust. ...
Article
Like all SSI, the COVID-19 pandemic requires decisions that are contentious, involve scientific thinking, and vary across social groups. This investigation determined how perceptions about COVID-19 science and sociocultural membership associate with 557 university biology students’: (1) COVID-19 behaviors after stay-at-home orders and (2) support for future societal COVID-19 responses. Hierarchical moderated multiple regression analyses demonstrate that students’ COVID-19 mitigating actions after stay-at-home orders were significantly and positively associated with, in order of importance: (1) higher levels of COVID-19 spread prevention knowledge; (2) espousing more liberal, as opposed to conservative, political orientations; (3) being female; and (4) increased disbelief of COVID-19 misinformation/disinformation claims. Furthermore, the students’ political orientation moderated the relationship between their trust in scientific models to guide COVID-19 decisions and their personal COVID-19 actions, with trust in scientific models to guide COVID-19 decision-making being a significant positive predictor of moderate, conservative, and very conservative student groups’ COVID-19 mitigating actions. Conversely, there was no association between trust in scientific models to guide COVID-19 decision-making and very liberal and liberal students’ conducting COVID-19 actions. Hierarchical moderated multiple regression analyses revealed that students’ support for societal-wide COVID-19 mitigating measures going forward is positively associated with, in order of importance: (1) espousing more liberal, as opposed to conservative, political orientations; (2) higher levels of COVID-19 spread prevention knowledge; (3) increased disbelief of COVID-19 misinformation/disinformation claims; (4) trust in scientific models for guiding COVID-19 decision-making; and (5) beliefs that factors beyond science and technology (e.g., personal actions) are necessary for pandemic resolution. Implications discussed include the importance for helping students analyze how sociocultural membership, personal biases, and trust in science interactively influence socioscientific decision-making. Further recommendations discussed include how science communication strategies must account for sociocultural variance in order to optimize trust in science and reasoned and responsible action.
... People's ideologies, or cultural worldviews, significantly influence their 111 reasoning about climate change as an issue. Worldview shapes peoples' environmental 112 attitudes (Ellis & Thompson, 1997;Pendergraft, 1998), their perception of risk 113 associated with climate change (Kahan et al., 2012;Pendergraft, 1998), their acceptance 114 or dismissal of scientific ideas (Kahan et al., 2011), and ultimately their cognitive 115 reasoning associated with climate change science (Kahan, 2013). People favoring 116 egalitarian and communitarian worldviews are more likely to exhibit an attitude of 117 concern about the environment and to view climate change as a societal risk, whereas 118 people preferring hierarchical and individualistic worldviews are less likely to be 119 concerned for the environment and are more likely to dismiss climate change risks 120 (Kahan et al., 2007;Kahan et al., 2012;Leiserowitz, 2006;Pendergraft, 1998;Shi et al., 121 2015). ...
... A person's motivations can bias the scientific information they 123 attend to and how they evaluate that information; this process is known as motivated 124 reasoning (Kunda, 1990;Pasek, 2017;Washburn & Skitka, 2017). People are 125 motivated to discredit scientific consensus that is inconsistent with their worldview 126 (Kahan et al., 2011), and people with the highest scientific literacy (Drummond & 127 Fischhoff, 2017; Kahan et al., 2012) and cognitive reflection ability (Kahan, 2013) are 128 the most likely to be polarized in their views with respect to climate change. Cognitive 129 reflection ability refers to person's use of quick, intuitive (system 1) thinking or a more 130 reflective, deliberate (system 2) thinking (Frederick, 2005). ...
Article
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This survey study evaluated the relationship between cultural worldview and the occurrence of climate science misconceptions among 688 undergraduates at five colleges in the United States. The Worldview, Misconceptions, and Cognitive Reflection instrument was employed to measure respondents’ cultural worldview, climate science misconceptions using a three-tiered diagnostic test, and cognitive reflection ability. Binary logistic regression was used to test the extent to which hierarchy-egalitarianism, individualism-communitarianism, and cognitive reflection ability impacted the occurrence of ten common climate science misconceptions. Analysis revealed that the understanding of climate change science was low, while certainty of response was high. Misconceptions of climate-weather confusion and the magnitude of global warming were related to learners’ worldview. Motivated reasoning was suggested in hierarchist-leaning learners holding the misconception that recent climate changes are the result of natural cycles. Certain climate science misconceptions were related to learners’ cognitive reflection ability such as the misconception that sudden changes in weather are evidence of climate change, the misconception that global warming is caused by ozone layer depletion, and the misconception that global warming can be reduced by setting limitations on chemical waste released into rivers or by not building nuclear power plants. This investigation yielded an emergent finding and area of future research: respondents in this study differed significantly by gender in their worldview, cognitive reflection, and climate science misconceptions. Recommendations include using an intervention approach to boost numerical skills and quantitative self-efficacy in the climate science classroom, and addressing misconceptions with a refutation text.
... Thus, when it comes to nuclear energy, McCright et al. (2013) lead us to theorize that liberals will be less trusting of scientists in the nuclear energy field because nuclear energy is about the production of energy, and liberals instead will be more trusting of scientists that examine the environmental and public health impacts of nuclear energy. This relationship has been demonstrated experimentally when Kahan et al. (2011) use Douglas and Wildavsky's (1993) cultural theory of risk to show how individuals who are egalitarian and communitarian (and who like political liberals see industrialization as a form of greed and support regulation) have less trust in a well-credentialed scientist when that scientist espouses a view that nuclear waste disposal can occur without danger to the public. But egalitarian-communitarians trust that same well-credentialed scientist when they make a statement that nuclear waste disposal poses a high risk to the public. ...
... But egalitarian-communitarians trust that same well-credentialed scientist when they make a statement that nuclear waste disposal poses a high risk to the public. Kahan et al. (2011) conclude that this "cultural cognition" means that individuals form risk perceptions that are "congenial to their values." Baumgaertner et al. (2018) also found support for the McCright et al. (2013) hypothesis that conservatives are less trusting of certain types of science when their study found that conservatives are less likely to trust government medical experts on the subject of vaccinations. ...
Article
Political ideology is an increasingly powerful force in support of public policy. Historically, nuclear energy has found more support among political conservatives. This study updates the literature on political ideology and support for nuclear energy by examining how political ideology is associated with perceptions of nuclear energy and trust of nuclear information sources. After excluding participants with incomplete data, and participants within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor, the analytical sample size for the analysis examining political ideology and perceptions of nuclear energy was 4153. The analytical sample includes a total of 1035 participants within a 50‐mile radius of INL, 710 participants from within Idaho who lived further than 50 miles from INL, 1899 participants from other states (more than 50 miles from a nuclear reactor), and 509 Non‐Idaho participants living within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor. Logistic regression was used to determine how political ideology was associated with perceptions of nuclear energy and trust in different sources regarding radioactive waste, after controlling for demographics and location. While liberal participants near INL were less favorable towards nuclear energy, and more trusting in impact scientists to tell the truth about radioactive waste than their conservative counterparts, this was not consistent across the US. Our findings reveal the complexity of political ideology and the perceptions of nuclear issues and how proximity influences perceptions. The perceptions of political moderates were particularly important in providing a more complex understanding of political ideology and nuclear energy issues. 政治意识形态是支持公共政策的日益强大的力量。核能历来在政治保守派中得到更多的支持。本研究通过分析政治意识形态如何与核能感知及核信息源信任相联系,进而对有关政治意识形态和支持核能的文献作贡献。在排除数据不完整的参与者和核反应堆50英里范围内的参与者后,用于分析政治意识形态和核能感知的分析样本量为4153。分析样本包括爱达荷国家实验室(INL)50英里半径范围内的1035名参与者,710名居住在距离INL50英里以外地区的参与者,1899名来自其他州的参与者(居住地点距离核反应堆超过50英里),以及509居住在核反应堆50英里范围内的非爱达荷州参与者。在控制人口统计因素和位置因素后,使用逻辑回归,确定政治意识形态如何与核能感知以及“对关于放射性废物的不同来源的信任”相联系。尽管INL附近的自由派参与者不太支持核能,并且比保守派更相信有影响力的科学家所传播的放射性废物真相,但这并非在美国各地都如此。我们的研究结果揭示了政治意识形态的复杂性、核问题感知、以及邻近性如何影响感知。政治温和派的感知对“提供关于政治意识形态与核问题的更复杂的理解”一事尤为重要。 La ideología política es una fuerza cada vez más poderosa en apoyo de las políticas públicas. Históricamente, la energía nuclear ha encontrado más apoyo entre los conservadores políticos. Este estudio actualiza la literatura sobre ideología política y apoyo a la energía nuclear al examinar cómo la ideología política está asociada con las percepciones de la energía nuclear y la confianza en las fuentes de información nuclear. Después de excluir a los participantes con datos incompletos y los participantes dentro de las 50 millas de un reactor nuclear, el tamaño de la muestra analítica para el análisis que examinó la ideología política y las percepciones de la energía nuclear fue de 4153. La muestra analítica incluye un total de 1035 participantes dentro de un radio de 50 millas de INL, 710 participantes de Idaho que vivían a más de 50 millas de INL, 1899 participantes de otros estados (a más de 50 millas de un reactor nuclear) y 509 Participantes que no sean de Idaho y que vivan a menos de 50 millas de un reactor nuclear. Se utilizó la regresión logística para determinar cómo se asociaba la ideología política con las percepciones de la energía nuclear y la confianza en diferentes fuentes con respecto a los desechos radiactivos, después de controlar la demografía y la ubicación. Si bien los participantes liberales cerca de INL eran menos favorables a la energía nuclear y más confiados en los científicos de impacto para decir la verdad sobre los desechos radiactivos que sus contrapartes conservadoras, esto no fue consistente en los EE. UU. Nuestros hallazgos revelan la complejidad de la ideología política y las percepciones de los problemas nucleares y cómo la proximidad influye en las percepciones. Las percepciones de los políticos moderados fueron particularmente importantes para proporcionar una comprensión más compleja de la ideología política y las cuestiones nucleares.
... One hypothesis is that the social contagion is due to cognitive biases, such as conformity bias [which has been the focus of a lot of work in social psychology since Asch (1951)]. Another hypothesis is that the contagion is due to identity-protective motivated reasoning-i.e., the tendency of individuals to form beliefs that conform with the ideological or cultural values shared with their social group(s) (see, e.g., Kahan et al., 2011). determine what's wrong with their cars and on the knowledge of doctors to diagnose their medical conditions. ...
... While there is some empirical evidence that perception of a scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change is correlated with belief in anthropogenic climate change (see, e.g.,van der Linden et al., 2015van der Linden et al., , 2018, the strength of that correlation has been questioned(Kahan 2017). More importantly, it is unclear what causal structure gives rise to that correlation, as there is some evidence that people's perception of the level of scientific consensus is affected by their beliefs and their values(Kahan et al., 2011), which suggests that people who are less likely to believe in climate change (on political or religious grounds) are also less likely to perceive a consensus among the scientists.18 A view on which Oreskes (2019, 49-54) explicitly relies.19 ...
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In this paper, I distinguish three general approaches to public trust in science, which I call the individual approach, the semi-social approach, and the social approach, and critically examine their proposed solutions to what I call the problem of harmful distrust. I argue that, despite their differences, the individual and the semi-social approaches see the solution to the problem of harmful distrust as consisting primarily in trying to persuade individual citizens to trust science and that both approaches face two general problems, which I call the problem of overidealizing science and the problem of overburdening citizens. I then argue that in order to avoid these problems we need to embrace a (thoroughly) social approach to public trust in science, which emphasizes the social dimensions of the reception, transmission, and uptake of scientific knowledge in society and the ways in which social forces influence both positively and negatively the trustworthiness of science.
... Political orientation is now a stronger predictor of climate change beliefs than education, subjective knowledge, and direct experience of extreme events (Hamilton et al., 2015;Hornsey et al., 2016;Marquart-Pyatt et al., 2014;McCright & Dunlap, 2011;Smith & Mayer, 2019). People tend to fit their perception of climate change risks to match the beliefs of others who share their sociopolitical values, a phenomenon Kahan et al. (2010Kahan et al. ( , 2012 refer to as the "cultural cognition thesis." Among those who hold more individualistic-hierarchical or conservative sociopolitical views, educational attainment, scientific literacy, and numeracy are inversely associated with belief in climate change (Kahan et al., 2012;Smith & Mayer, 2019). ...
... To assess whether participants' pre-simulation sociopolitical values affect how they reacted to the simulation, we divide the participants into two groups based on their Values scores on the pre-survey, using the median value (2.33 on the 5 point scale) as the cutoff between the two groups (Kahan et al., 2010). Individuals with a pre-simulation Values score of 2.33 or below were placed in the communitarian-egalitarian (CE) group (N = 576); those with higher scores were placed in the individualistic-hierarchical (IH) group (N = 532). ...
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Sociopolitical values are an important driver of climate change beliefs, attitudes, and policy preferences. People with “individualist‐hierarchical” values favor individual freedom, competition, and clearly defined social hierarchies, while “communitarian‐egalitarians” value interdependence and equality across gender, age, heritage, and ethnicity. In the US, individualist‐hierarchs generally perceive less risk from climate change and express lower support for actions to mitigate it than communitarian‐egalitarians. Exposure to scientific information does little to change these views. Here, we ask if a widely used experiential simulation, World Climate, can help overcome these barriers. World Climate combines an engaging role‐play with an interactive computer model of the climate system. We examine pre‐ and post‐World Climate survey responses from 2,080 participants in the US and use a general linear mixed model approach to analyze interactions among participants' sociopolitical values and gains in climate change knowledge, affect, and intent to take action. As expected, prior to the simulation, participants holding individualist‐hierarchical values had lower levels of climate change knowledge, felt less urgency, and expressed lower intent to act than those holding communitarian‐egalitarian values. However, individualist‐hierarchs made significantly larger gains across all constructs, particularly urgency, than communitarian‐egalitarians. Participants' sociopolitical values also shifted: those with individualistic‐hierarchical values before the simulation showed a substantial, statistically significant shift toward a communitarian‐egalitarian worldview. Simulation‐based experiences like World Climate may help reduce polarization and build consensus towards science‐based climate action.
... Instead of providing "a real safeguard to democracy," as Franklin Roosevelt thought, education seems to intensify powerful partisan motives. 18 Relatedly, Dan Kahan (2011;2012; shows that people who score highest in 'cognitive reflection' are the most likely to display motivated reasoning. 19 To illustrate, consider the following experiment . ...
... This provides evidence that people with sophisticated reasoning skills will use them to wriggle their way out of evidence that disconfirms their political convictions. Other experiments found similar results (Kahan et al., 2011;2012;Kahan, 2013;Nurse and Grant, 2020). 20 These experiments illustrate the epistemically corrupting effects of politics. ...
Article
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It is widely believed that democracies require knowledgeable citizens to function well. But the most politically knowledgeable individuals tend to be the most partisan, and the strength of partisan identity tends to corrupt political thinking. This creates a conundrum. On the one hand, an informed citizenry is allegedly necessary for a democracy to flourish. On the other hand, the most knowledgeable and passionate voters are also the most likely to think in corrupted, biased ways. What to do? This paper examines this tension and draws out several lessons. First, it is not obvious that more knowledgeable voters will make better political decisions. Second, attempts to remedy voter ignorance are problematic because partisans tend to become more polarized when they acquire more information. Third, solutions to citizen incompetence must focus on the intellectual virtue of objectivity. Fourth, some forms of epistocracy are troubling, in part, because they would increase the political power of the most dogmatic and biased individuals. Fifth, a highly restrictive form of epistocracy may escape the problem of political dogmatism, but epistocrats may face a steeper tradeoff between inclusivity and epistemic virtue than many would like.
... We will measure the participants' attitudes towards these two types of medical care providers. We will also apply the Cultural Cognitive Worldview Scales, CCWS (Kahan et al. 2011) which aims at describing individualism versus egalitarianism. We included this scale because individualism is correlated with attitudes towards private and public health care as shown by, for example, Baekgaard and colleagues (Baekgaard, et al. 2020). ...
... The questionnaire started with problems from the Cultural Cognitive Worldview Scales individualism and egalitarianism (Kahan et al. 2011) with Cronbach's α = 0.70 for the individualism and α = 0.86 for the egalitarianism scale. This was followed by 7 items about attitudes towards publicly driven and private for-profit driven health care. ...
Article
The resource saving bias is a cognitive bias describing how resource savings from improvements of high-productivity units are overestimated compared to improvements of less productive units. Motivational reasoning describes how attitudes, here towards private/public health care, distort decisions based on numerical facts. Participants made a choice between two productivity increase options with the goal of saving doctor resources. The options described productivity increases in low-/high-productivity private/public emergency rooms. Jointly, the biases produced 78% incorrect decisions. The cognitive bias was stronger than the motivational bias. Verbal justifications of the decisions revealed elaborations of the problem beyond the information provided, biased integration of quantitative information, change of goal of decision, and motivational attitude biases. Most (83%) of the incorrect decisions were based on (incorrect) mathematical justifications illustrating the resource saving bias. Participants who had better scores on a cognitive test made poorer decisions. Women who gave qualitative justifications to a greater extent than men made more correct decision. After a first decision, participants were informed about the correct decision with a mathematical explanation. Only 6.3% of the participants corrected their decisions after information illustrating facts resistance. This could be explained by psychological sunk cost and coherence theories. Those who made the wrong choice remembered the facts of the problem better than those who made a correct choice.
... Recent reports about the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the challenges of achieving unified support for the CDC's prevention and protection measures (e.g., mask wearing) due to high levels of polarization in the American electorate. In such polarized situations, the public is less likely to change their behavior in ways that correspond to the consensus of experts if there is a lack of political consensus that the changes are necessary (Kahan, Jenkins-Smith, & Braman, 2011). Naturally, this has presented significant difficulties for healthcare practitioners. ...
Article
This study applied the contingency theory of conflict management to examine how contingency factors influence the public’s perceptual and behavioral responses to COVID-19 and stance toward the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In particular, we tested political ideology as an important individual characteristic variable to examine its roles in the contingency theory framework. The findings revealed that two situational variables (i.e., threat appraisal and attitudes toward CDC) positively influenced the public’s contingency accommodation stance toward the CDC. Furthermore, greater conservatism was significantly associated with lower levels of threat appraisal and more negative attitudes toward the CDC, however it did not influence the stance toward the CDC. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings and directions for future research are discussed.
... It might be speculated that the excessive confidence in one's intuitions that are associated with populist attitudes produces polarized beliefs-including strong acceptance of claims that are either consistent with, or unrelated to, one's ideological beliefs (as revealed in the current research), but also a strong and confident rejection of claims that diametrically oppose one's ideological beliefs. Research, for example, suggests that when one's values and beliefs (e.g., about the reality of climate change) are incompatible with scientific consensus, people often uphold their values by misperceiving the scientific consensus (Kahan et al., 2011). Future research may more extensively pursue the relationship between populist attitudes and credulity of statements that oppose one's worldview. ...
Article
The present research examines the relationship between populist attitudes—that construe society as a struggle between the “corrupt elites” versus the “noble people”—and beliefs in unsubstantiated epistemic claims. We specifically sought to assess the often assumed link between conspiracy beliefs and populist attitudes; moreover, we examined if populist attitudes predict conspiracy beliefs in particular, or rather, credulity of unsubstantiated epistemic claims in general. Study 1 revealed that populist attitudes are robustly associated with conspiracy mentality in a large multination study, drawing samples from 13 European Union (EU) countries. Studies 2 and 3 revealed that besides conspiracy beliefs, populist attitudes also predict increased credulity of obscure and politically neutral news items (regardless of whether they were broadcasted by mainstream or alternative news sources), receptivity to bullshit statements, and supernatural beliefs. Furthermore, Study 3 revealed that these findings were mediated by increased faith in intuition. These studies support the notion of populist gullibility: An increased tendency of people who score high on populist attitudes to accept obscure or unsubstantiated epistemic claims as true, including nonpolitical ones.
... Simply giving people facts is in and of itself not enough to motivate, convince, or change behaviors. In some cases, it can actually have the opposite effect (Kahan et al. 2011). ...
Book
Complete summary of the scientific knowledge currently available on closing of the knowledge-implementation gap in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Describes interdisciplinary and innovative uses of knowledge sources and knowledge mobilization practices to halt biodiversity loss under human-driven global environmental change. Essential reading for graduate students, researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers working across sectors with biodiversity knowledge and natural resource management around the world. Available here: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-81085-6
... Paraphrasing Tocqueville (1990Tocqueville ( [1840: 9), the epistemic objection lurks in the idea that the people 'commonly seek for the sources of truth in themselves or in those who are like themselves'. As not everybody's experience is the same, our confirmation biases discard dissonant information and instead select the ones that affirm our antecedent beliefs, thus linking this epistemic objection with the burgeoning literature on cultural cognition (Kahan et al., 2011). Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been common to encounter people who know someone who got sick despite having their doses, and then use that anecdotal information to ground their vaccine-scepticism. ...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a question seldom addressed in a straightforward manner by political theorists: whether populism is intrinsically anti-science. This article identifies three different ways in which populist actors worldwide have grounded their scepticism, distrust, or hostility to scientific inputs, to the extent that they are relevant for political action: (1) they raise a moral objection against scientists who have been allegedly corrupted by foreign interests, turning them into enemies of the people; (2) they present a democratic objection against the technocratic claim that scientific experts should rule regardless of the popular will; and (3) they employ an epistemic argument against scientific reasoning, which is said to be inferior to common-sense and folk wisdom, and antithetical to the immediateness of political action. While these objections have been wielded in a selective and unsystematic way, they all speak to the core feature of populism, which is the people versus elites divide: the moral objection targets scientists as members of an elite in cahoots with alien powers; the democratic objection targets an unelected elite that seeks to undermine the people’s rule; the epistemic objection questions that the standard to validate knowledge-claims is a complex and detached-from-ordinary-experience rationality.
... Simply giving people facts is in and of itself not enough to motivate, convince, or change behaviors. In some cases, it can actually have the opposite effect (Kahan et al. 2011). ...
Chapter
This chapter outlines different approaches of science communication and outreach to achieve conservation goals, transfer knowledge, and engage stakeholders. We discuss why science communication is crucial to conservation outcomes and how to be effective at communicating, including various exercises to help you be concise and create connections with your audience. We dive into best practices of science communication including how to know your audience and your goal, make connections, distill your message, and use tools such as storytelling to get your science to stick. Conservation case studies explore topics in art and science, and storytelling and video. Different science communication and outreach methods are also covered to illustrate how effective communication is paramount to narrow the knowledge–implementation gap.
... This has led to a broadening of psychological theories that emphasize factors beyond individual knowledge. One such theory, "cultural cognition," posits that people's beliefs are shaped more by their cultural values or affiliations, which lead them to selectively take in and interpret information in a way that conforms to their worldviews (15)(16)(17). Evidence in support of the cultural cognition model is compelling, but other findings suggest that knowledge is still relevant. ...
Article
Public attitudes that are in opposition to scientific consensus can be disastrous and include rejection of vaccines and opposition to climate change mitigation policies. Five studies examine the interrelationships between opposition to expert consensus on controversial scientific issues, how much people actually know about these issues, and how much they think they know. Across seven critical issues that enjoy substantial scientific consensus, as well as attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccines and mitigation measures like mask wearing and social distancing, results indicate that those with the highest levels of opposition have the lowest levels of objective knowledge but the highest levels of subjective knowledge. Implications for scientists, policymakers, and science communicators are discussed.
... In particular, as self-transcendent value orientation makes people more sensitive to environmental issues and more responsible for their own actions (Liobikienė and Juknys, 2016), it is usually associated with environmental concern and individual beliefs, predicting a positive engagement with energy preferences (Poortinga et al., 2012;Steg and De Groot, 2012;Steg and Sievers, 2000). This means that people with a preference for a less individualistic and more common-good organisation of society are expected to be more concerned about the risks of climate change (Kahan et al., 2011) and more likely to believe that their own behaviour could contribute to environmental conservation (Fornara et al., 2016). Nevertheless, the strength of the relationship also depends on the extent to which people endorse specific values (Punzo et al., 2019). ...
Article
Environmental research has increasingly recognised the relevance of energy-efficiency behaviours to mitigate climate change. In this perspective, we exploit data from the European Social Survey round 8 (2016) to provide new insights into the main factors leading to the preference for solar power in three European countries – France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. A Structural Equation Model is adopted to assess the impact of self-transcendent values, efficacy beliefs and concern about energy security on such preference. Our outcomes suggest the key role of self-transcendent values in driving preference for solar energy in all the analysed countries. On the other hand, the impact of efficacy beliefs and concern on such preference shows interesting cross-country differences: beliefs are relevant in France and Germany, while concern provides more guidance for French and British citizens. The provided evidence may assist policymakers in increasing the adoption of green energy sources among citizens, sustainably enhancing economic growth.
... Thus, the findings of this study should not be read as a foretelling of a politically divided water future, but rather as early warning signs of the divided future that could develop if intervening measures are not taken. Through the use of communication framing that purposefully associates water security measures with the values and motivations of the political right, it may be possible to alter the automatically triggered positions that, at present, cause the political right to deviate from their perceptions of scientists' beliefs(Feinberg & Willer, 2013;Wolsko et al., 2016).Lines of research that should be considered in the development of framing interventions includeKahan's (2011) theory of cultural cognition and Haidt's (2012) moral foundations theory. Studies using these models have demonstrated, for example, that presenting environmental protection as an act of patriotism or as a means to protect the purity of natural resources can yield relative parity in policy support between the political left and the political right(Feinberg & Willer, 2013;Wolsko et al., 2016). ...
Article
A “science communication problem” exists when scientifically-supported, policy-relevant fact is disputed because it conflicts with political perspectives or other culturally-relevant influences. This study evaluates whether such a problem exists on water topics, where it could obstruct productive discourse as new water policies are introduced. To identify water topics on which partisan individuals reject water science, we developed and applied a Rasch-modeled scale of “ordinary water science knowledge” (OWSK) and an associated assessment of beliefs. Our sample, consisting of 806 Florida and Georgia residents, indicated personal beliefs that aligned with their perceptions of scientists’ beliefs so long as the information did not activate partisan positioning. Partisan positions were easily activated, however, with some politically right-leaning individuals indicating personal water beliefs contrary to their perceptions of scientists’ beliefs (i.e., a water science communication problem). This divergence occurred in response to statements on the effects of climate change on water availability and on the adequacy of water supply to meet demand 20 years in the future. These topics have relevance far beyond the study area, suggesting a water science communication problem may exist at broader regional and national scales.
... Cultural cognition operationalizes Douglas and Wildavsky's (1982) cultural theory (CT) of risk perception and describes the hypothesized tendency that people have to perceive risks in relation to personal values (Kahan 2008). Cultural cognition helps generally to explain public disagreement about the significance of empirical evidence (Kahan et al. 2006(Kahan et al. , 2011. The motivated-reasoning model holds that individuals credit evidence in alignment with one's worldview while dismissing that which challenges held values (Kunda 1990;Lodge and Taber 2005;Taber and Lodge 2006). ...
Article
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The literature identifies cultural values and beliefs as key drivers of climate change risk perception, but evidence is lacking about how media narratives and cultural values influence preferences for adapting to environmental consequences of climate change, including groundwater shortage. We elicited groundwater preferences using a choice experiment survey involving outcomes of the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer. We randomly assigned respondents to an individualistic cultural narrative about climate change to test for framing effects predicted by culturally congruent and incongruent messaging. Results suggest that culturally incongruent messaging (i.e., to non-individualists) emboldens opposition and makes promoted groundwater policies less tractable. This is instructive to policy makers that identifying different stakeholders and avoiding incongruent messages about climate change could improve the effectiveness of collaborative water governance.
... Social identities matter (Bartels, 2002;Cassino & Lodge, 2007;Greene, 1999;Hillygus & Shields, 2014;Huddy, 2001;Kahneman & Tversky, 1979;Krosnick, 1991;Quattrone & Tversky, 1988). While values and identities may override (Kahan et al., 2011;Layzer, 2006), so too do prior exposures and interactions (Brody et al., 2008;Egan & Mullin, 2012). Framing around health (Myers et al., 2012) and victims (Hart & Nisbet, 2012) can activate concerns and voting. ...
... Education × politics and similar interactions are commonly explained with reference to informationfiltering processes, in which better-educated (or more scientifically literate, etc.) individuals are more efficacious in acquiring information that fits with their prejudices and sociopolitical identity. They might learn about identity-appropriate positions by attending to political or media leaders (elite cues; Brulle et al. 2012;Carmichael and Brulle 2017;Darmofal 2005), by reasoning from their own general assumptions (motivated reasoning; Druckman and McGrath 2019;Kraft et al. 2015;Kunda 1990;Taber and Lodge 2006), by selectively absorbing information that agrees with what they already believe (biased assimilation; Corner et al. 2012;Ehret et al. 2016;McCright and Dunlap 2011), or through feedback from social groups they identify with (cultural cognition; Kahan et al. 2011). Each of these processes has empirical support. ...
Article
Background Research on the social bases of environmental concern has established robust findings across various sociodemographic characteristics. This includes interaction effects between education and political identity, as well as particularly low concern among supporters of President Trump. Objectives Using 2016 survey data, we extend such research to examine U.S. public support for four climate-change mitigation strategies: investment in renewable energy, lifestyle changes, a revenue-neutral carbon tax, and cap-and-trade. Methods We perform ordered logit regression of belief in anthropogenic climate change and support for these strategies on several key independent variables. Results Support follows some of the patterns expected for environmental concern generally but with new details. Trump support is a dominant predictor, and education × party interactions show significant variations in levels of support. Conclusion This provides important insights for public policy decision making related to climate change by considering which characteristics are most predictive of support for specific strategies.
... However, chatbots are less likely to be effective if the gap stems from politically motivated science denialism (e.g. Kahan et al., 2011Kahan et al., , 2012. The use of chatbots to facilitate scientific communication has been theorized to be effective on the basis of the interactive theory of reasoning (Mercier & Sperber, 2017). ...
Article
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The Coronavirus disease; COVID-19 vaccines will not end the pandemic if they stay in freezers. In many countries, such as France, COVID-19 vaccines hesitancy is high. It is crucial that governments make it as easy as possible for people who want to be vaccinated to do so, but also that they devise communication strategies to address the concerns of vaccine hesitant individuals. We introduce and test on 701 French participants a novel messaging strategy: A chatbot that answers people's questions about COVID-19 vaccines. We find that interacting with this chatbot for a few minutes significantly increases people's intentions to get vaccinated (ß = 0.12) and has a positive impact on their attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination (ß = 0.23). Our results suggest that a properly scripted and regularly updated chatbot could offer a powerful resource to help fight hesitancy toward COVID-19 vaccines. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... Indeed, investigating source credibility in cultures where spiritual authority dominates may help to clarify the mechanistic questions that our study raises but does not address. Sixth, future work may extend the current work and investigate how the Einstein effect is affected by content cues (for example, the use of jargon, argument coherence, disclosure of uncertainty 105 ) and personal attitudes towards the topic [106][107][108] . ...
Article
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People tend to evaluate information from reliable sources more favourably, but it is unclear exactly how perceivers’ worldviews interact with this source credibility effect. In a large and diverse cross-cultural sample (N = 10,195 from 24 countries), we presented participants with obscure, meaningless statements attributed to either a spiritual guru or a scientist. We found a robust global source credibility effect for scientific authorities, which we dub ‘the Einstein effect’: across all 24 countries and all levels of religiosity, scientists held greater authority than spiritual gurus. In addition, individual religiosity predicted a weaker relative preference for the statement from the scientist compared with the spiritual guru, and was more strongly associated with credibility judgements for the guru than the scientist. Independent data on explicit trust ratings across 143 countries mirrored our experimental findings. These findings suggest that irrespective of one’s religious worldview, across cultures science is a powerful and universal heuristic that signals the reliability of information.
... Our minds are motivated by social acceptance, as much as by any standard for reliable knowledge. Thus, psychologically, people tend to align their ideas and values to "fit in" and show allegiance to their group, whether based on ideology, identity, or politics (e.g., Kahan, 2013Kahan, , 2017Kahan et al., 2011;Kraft et al., 2015;O'Connor & Weatherall, 2019;Pennycook, McPhetres, et al. 2021). Con artists thus foster in-group sympathy and allegiance and out-group fear. ...
Article
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Ironically, flat-Earthers, anti-vaxxers, and climate change naysayers trust in science. Unfortunately, they trust the wrong science. That conundrum lies at the heart of scientific literacy in an age of well-funded commercial and ideological interests and overwhelming digital information. The core question for the citizen-consumer is not philosophically “why trust science?” (Oreskes 2019) but sociologically “who speaks for science?” Teachers can help students learn how to navigate the treacherous territory of inevitably mediated communication and the vulnerabilities of epistemic dependence. Students need to understand the role of science communication practices (media literacy) and the roles of credibility, expertise and honesty and the deceptive strategies used by imitators of science to seem like credible voices for science.
... Therefore, science skepticism tends to prevail in frontier counties due to the persistence of strong opposition to government intervention and redistribution (Bazzi et al., 2020). In addition, Kahan et al. (2011) argue that individuals tend to formulate risk perceptions consistent with their values. This provides an explanation for the sharp and persistent divergence in beliefs about various scientific consensus views in the general population, including the existence of climate change and the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. ...
... Under the COVID-19 crisis, concerns about polarization grow, noting that the pandemic is often politicized and thus exacerbates group conflicts as well as reinforces existing beliefs (Bird and Ritter, 2021;Green et al., 2020;Hart et al., 2020). Given that a society's ability to effectively respond to a health crisis depends on citizens' united minds and collective behavioral efforts (Kahan et al., 2011), partisan conflicts and sharp divisions in health beliefs raise extra hurdles to combat the pandemic (Pew Research Center, 2020a). ...
Article
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Although collective efforts are essential to fight COVID-19, public opinion in the United States is sharply divided by partisan attitudes and health beliefs. Addressing the concern that media use facilitates polarization, this study investigated whether social and traditional media use for COVID-19 information attenuates or reinforces existing disparities. This article focuses on two important areas where the public is highly polarized: partisan affect and vaccine attitudes. Contradicting the filter bubble claim, our survey ( n = 1106) revealed that social media use made people less polarized in both partisan affect and vaccine hesitancy. In contrast, traditional media use made people more polarized in partisan affect. These findings corroborate the growing evidence that social media provide diverse viewpoints and incidental learning.
... As noted at the outset, it is relatively common among some in the climate policy community to rely upon surveys and opinion polls to gauge feasibility. However, an additional epistemic problem with relying on surveys is that public opinion about policy is greatly determined by perceived ideological allegiance to trusted figures, rather than according to their supposed epistemic merits or technical characteristics (Kahan, Jenkins-Smith, and Braman 2011;Kahan et al. 2006). Once a policy or technology is promoted by a politician or political party, public opinion reacts to this in ways that prior survey results may not capture. ...
... As noted at the outset, it is relatively common among some in the climate policy community to rely upon surveys and opinion polls to gauge feasibility. However, an additional epistemic problem with relying on surveys is that public opinion about policy is greatly determined by perceived ideological allegiance to trusted figures, rather than according to their supposed epistemic merits or technical characteristics (Kahan, Jenkins-Smith, and Braman 2011;Kahan et al. 2006). Once a policy or technology is promoted by a politician or political party, public opinion reacts to this in ways that prior survey results may not capture. ...
... The authors find that cultural cognition of risk, or the tendency for individuals to perceive risk as it aligns with their values, influences how they perceive scientific consensus. Consequentially, individuals only believe that scientific elites are trustworthy and knowledgeable if the elite's stated beliefs match up with their own (Kahan et al., 2011). If these findings are true with highly educated (hypothetical) messengers, I think it reasonable to assume that individuals can easily dismiss celebrities or young adults like Thunberg as being unknowledgeable and wrong if they disagree with those messengers' assertions. ...
... On the other hand, the perception of expertise can sometimes be a matter of motivated cognition (Kahan, Jenkins-Smith, and Braman 2011;Suldovsky 2016;Suldovsky, Landrum, and Stroud 2019;Stewart 2019). Complicating matters further is research suggesting that science, as a profession, occupies a somewhat ambiguous position in the public consciousness. ...
Article
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Despite decades of concerted efforts to communicate to the public on important scientific issues pertaining to the environment and public health, gaps between public acceptance and the scientific consensus on these issues remain stubborn. One strategy for dealing with this shortcoming has been to focus on the existence of scientific consensus on the relevant matters. Recent science communication research has added support to this general idea, though the interpretation of these studies and their generalizability remains a matter of contention. In this paper, we describe results of a qualitative interview study on different models of scientific consensus and the relationship between such models and trust of science, finding that familiarity with scientific consensus is rarer than might be expected. These results suggest that consensus messaging strategies may not be effective.
... Participants who want to be members of the right-wing community are more likely to take the man in E to not be an expert and the man in E' to be an expert. 8 Blocking protesters. Some participants want to be members of a left-wing community, membership of which requires believing that anti-abortion protesters are not good people but those who protest against heteronormative policies are. ...
Preprint
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There is a correlation between positions taken on some scientific questions and political leaning. One way to explain this correlation is the Cultural Cognition Hypothesis (CCH): people's political leanings are causing them to process evidence to maintain fixed answers to the questions, rather than to seek the truth. Another way is the Different Background Belief Hypothesis (DBBH): people of different political leanings have different background beliefs which rationalize different positions on these scientific questions. In this paper I argue for two things. I argue that two attempts by proponents of the CCH to discredit the DBBH fail. And I argue that this matters, because while the CCH makes epistemic paternalistic interventions seem necessary (as some philosophers have argued compellingly), the DBBH does not. The DBBH makes it much easier to stay closer to an ideal of deliberative democracy.
... Grid ranges from a high degree of stratification in authority and role (hierarchical), to a low degree of stratification (egalitarian). In relation to human-induced climate change, research shows that individuals who have a cultural worldview described as hierarchical/ individualistic (e.g. the type of people who trust and respect industry leaders, and who do not appreciate government interference in their business) are more likely to reject the risks of human-induced climate change (Kahan et al., 2011), because accepting the risks may have significant implications for them in terms of tightening of government regulation or the introduction of new taxes. They would rather underestimate the dangers of climate change than risk contradicting their own worldview, and that of influential members of their peer group (Kahan, 2010). ...
Thesis
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There are many people who choose alternative or unorthodox healthcare options that are not based on the best available evidence for efficacy and effectiveness. There has been a rejection of vaccination by sections of the population leading to suboptimal rates of vaccination, and increased rates of infectious diseases such as measles. Complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) are also increasingly popular, despite the scarcity of clinical evidence for the efficacy and safety of many of these therapies. The goal of this thesis is to explore unorthodox worldviews that predict vaccine scepticism and use of CAM in order to inform the future development of persuasive strategies to encourage participation in evidence-based interventions. Four studies were undertaken to achieve this goal including (1) the development of a standardised measure of CAM utilisation using data from an archived population survey of Australian adults; (2) an investigation of explanatory factors, including personality (openness to experience), cognitive style, and a range of unorthodox beliefs, for the relationship between CAM use and vaccination scepticism, using an archived population survey of Australian adults; (3) an examination of associations between geographic or area-level socio-demographic factors and uptake of vaccination among 5-year old children throughout Australia, using a public health focused ecological methodology, and (4) conducting an online priming experiment, to assess whether increasing the salience of concepts of contamination and purity will produce changes in reactions to a range of health interventions, including vaccination and CAM. Following are the key findings. The first study developed a brief, summative questionnaire measure of CAM utilisation called the R-I-CAM-Q, to address a gap in previous research which was lacking a psychometrically sound, and quantitative measure of CAM utilisation. The main findings of the second study, a cross-sectional survey, were that Pro-CAM attitudes, rather than CAM-use, best predict vaccination attitudes; and that anti-vaccination and pro-CAM attitudes both correlate with the presumed antecedents of magical beliefs about health. The geographic/area-based study revealed that communities with lower rates of vaccination had relatively less disadvantage, and had relatively greater education and occupational status, suggesting that privilege puts people at risk. The priming experiment showed no experimental effect of priming for contamination or purity/naturalness. Nevertheless, higher levels of sensitivity to disgust were associated with lower ratings of the effectiveness of MMR vaccination, tetanus injection, antibiotics, and surgery. The results of these studies into how unorthodox or alternative worldviews predict vaccination scepticism and use of CAM, can directly inform the future development of evidence-based health promotion strategies which encourage the uptake of best practice healthcare, including vaccination practices.
... This leads to ideologically polarised populations in several countries. For example, at least in the USA and UK, this polarisation is to be linked far more to political ideology and worldview than to any other factor and that polarisation has increased over time (Kahan, D. M., Jenkins-Smith, H. & Braman, 2010). ...
Chapter
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Now-a-days problems are more in rescue team and military forces for saving people in accidental situations like fire accidents, coal mines and building debris. Major problems in handling life-saving situations in unknown conditions are finding people and their location. By using Mini Kinematic Legged Robot with six legged camouflage, we can overcome the problems. A mini robot consists of six legs, Arduino board, motors, spy 360° camera, vacuum stick, rollers and battery. Robot works on the principle of camouflage which can hold the parts of body as per situations and it can move without legs using rollers placed under body. Robot structure is made up through 3D printing machine because low cost, less weight, etc. The material used for fabrication is PLA (Polylactic Acid). It is made up of renewable resource like corn starch, tapioca roots, etc., and it is degradable. Robot motion is controlled by Arduino-programmed motors for speed. The robot can walk on any surfaces with a stiff gait slowly
... Several papers have found evidence that interpretations of weather events are filtered through pre-existing partisan identities or ideologies 45,51,52 . This suggests the presence of motivated reasoning (that is, the rejection of new information that contradicts pre-existing beliefs) in the processing of climate-change-related information 53,54 . Moreover, the perception of weather anomalies might well be complicated by a 'shifting-baselines' effect in which people's perception of normal conditions is quickly updated on the basis of recent experience of weather 55 . ...
Article
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The ambition and effectiveness of climate policies will be essential in determining greenhouse gas emissions and, as a consequence, the scale of climate change impacts1,2. However, the socio-politico-technical processes that will determine climate policy and emissions trajectories are treated as exogenous in almost all climate change modelling3,4. Here we identify relevant feedback processes documented across a range of disciplines and connect them in a stylized model of the climate–social system. An analysis of model behaviour reveals the potential for nonlinearities and tipping points that are particularly associated with connections across the individual, community, national and global scales represented. These connections can be decisive for determining policy and emissions outcomes. After partly constraining the model parameter space using observations, we simulate 100,000 possible future policy and emissions trajectories. These fall into 5 clusters with warming in 2100 ranging between 1.8 °C and 3.6 °C above the 1880–1910 average. Public perceptions of climate change, the future cost and effectiveness of mitigation technologies, and the responsiveness of political institutions emerge as important in explaining variation in emissions pathways and therefore the constraints on warming over the twenty-first century. A stylized model of the climate–social system could help to understand policy and emissions futures.
... The FDA had granted approval for the vaccine trials to be conducted in Hohoe, a town in the Volta Region of Ghana. The FDA in various statements provided reasons why it had approved the vaccine trials and vouched for its 6 For additional work that has been done in this area see Nguyen (2020b), also see work by Kahan et al. (2010). 7 Hardwig's 'Toward an Ethics of Expertise' acknowledges the ethical responsibility of those who appeal to experts. ...
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... 어떤 개념에 대한 인식이나 논증은 자신의 정체성이나 그로 인해 서서히 내면화된 세계관, 규 범, 신념 등의 구속으로부터 자유로울 수 없다 (Herrmann, 2017;Kahan, Jenkins-Smith, & Braman, 2011;Kunda, 1990;Lemke, 1990;Oliveira, Akerson, & Oldfield, 2012 (Donovan, 2014). 인종에 대한 생물학적 본질주의는 사람의 집 단에서 일부 생물적 특성이 본질적으로 다르며, 이 때문에 사람들은 모두 인종으로 분류될 수 밖에 없으며, 이 인종 집단마다 사람들의 사고능력, 성격과도 같은 다른 능력 또한 다르게 나타 난다고 믿는 인지적 편견(cognitive bias)을 의미한다 (Donovan, 2014(Donovan, , 2015. ...
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Why do white men fear various risks less than women and minorities? Known as the “white-male effect,” this pattern is well documented but poorly understood. This article proposes a new explanation: identity-protective cognition. Putting work on the cultural theory of risk together with work on motivated cognition in social psychology suggests that individuals selectively credit and dismiss asserted dangers in a manner supportive of their cultural identities. This dynamic, it is hypothesized, drives the white-male effect, which reflects the risk skepticism that hierarchical and individualistic white males display when activities integral to their cultural identities are challenged as harmful. The article presents the results of an 1,800-person study that confirmed that cultural worldviews interact with the impact of gender and race on risk perception in patterns that suggest cultural-identity-protective cognition. It also discusses the implications of these findings for risk regulation and communication.
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What explains controversy over outpatient commitment laws (OCLs), which authorize courts to order persons with mental illness to accept outpatient treatment? We hypothesized that attitudes toward OCLs reflect "cultural cognition" (DiMaggio, P. Annl Rev Sociol 23:263-287, 1997), which motivates individuals to conform their beliefs about policy-relevant facts to their cultural values. In a study involving a diverse sample of Americans (N = 1,496), we found that individuals who are hierarchical and communitarian tend to support OCLs, while those who are egalitarian and individualistic tend to oppose them. These relationships, moreover, fit the cultural cognition hypothesis: that is, rather than directly influencing OCL support, cultural values, mediated by affect, shaped individuals' perceptions of how effectively OCLs promote public health and safety. We discuss the implications for informed public deliberation over OCLs.
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We propose a remedy for the discrepancy between the way political scientists analyze data with missing values and the recommendations of the statistics community. Methodologists and statisticians agree that "multiple imputation" is a superior approach to the problem of missing data scattered through one's explanatory and dependent variables than the methods currently used in applied data analysis. The reason for this discrepancy lies with the fact that the computational algorithms used to apply the best multiple imputation models have been slow, difficult to implement, impossible to run with existing commercial statistical packages, and demanding of considerable expertise. In this paper, we adapt an existing algorithm, and use it to implement a generalpurpose, multiple imputation model for missing data. This algorithm is considerably faster and easier to use than the leading method recommended in the statistics literature. We also quantify the risks of current missing data practices, ...
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This paper re-examines the commonly observed inverse relationship between per- ceived risk and perceived benefit. We propose that this relationship occurs because people rely on aÄect when judging the risk and benefit of specific hazards. Evidence supporting this proposal is obtained in two experimental studies. Study 1 investigated the inverse relationship between risk and benefit judgments under a time-pressure condition designed to limit the use of analytic thought and enhance the reliance on aÄect. As expected, the inverse relationship was strengthened when time pressure was introduced. Study 2 tested and confirmed the hypothesis that providing information designed to alter the favorability of one's overall aÄective evaluation of an item (say nuclear power) would systematically change the risk and benefit judgments for that item. Both studies suggest that people seem prone to using an 'aÄect heuristic' which improves judgmental eÅciency by deriving both risk and benefit evaluations from a common source — aÄective reactions to the stimulus item. Copyright # 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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This study investigated 3 broad classes of individual-differences variables (job-search motives, competencies, and constraints) as predictors of job-search intensity among 292 unemployed job seekers. Also assessed was the relationship between job-search intensity and reemployment success in a longitudinal context. Results show significant relationships between the predictors employment commitment, financial hardship, job-search self-efficacy, and motivation control and the outcome job-search intensity. Support was not found for a relationship between perceived job-search constraints and job-search intensity. Motivation control was highlighted as the only lagged predictor of job-search intensity over time for those who were continuously unemployed. Job-search intensity predicted Time 2 reemployment status for the sample as a whole, but not reemployment quality for those who found jobs over the study's duration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The purpose of this chapter is to set forth a very general approach to data analysis, using multiple regression, that has the flexibility of including all shapes and sizes of independent variables, just as they are studied in social psychology. These independent variables may be manipulated or measured, they may be continuous or discrete, and they may be within-Ss or between-Ss. Additionally, both their additive and interactive effects can be examined efficiently. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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What motivates individuals to support or oppose the legal regulation of guns? What sorts of evidence or arguments are likely to promote a resolution of the gun control debate? Using the survey methods associated with the cultural theory of risk, we demonstrate that individuals' positions on gun control derive from their cultural world views: individuals of an egalitarian or solidaristic orientation tend to support gun control, those of a hierarchical or individualist orientation to oppose it. Indeed, cultural orientations so defined are stronger predictors of individuals' positions than is any other fact about them, including whether they are male or female, white or black, Southerners or Easterners, urbanites or country dwellers, conservatives or liberals. The role of culture in determining attitudes towards guns suggests that econometric analyses of the effect of gun control on violent crime are unlikely to have much impact. As they do when they are evaluating empirical evidence of environmental and other types of risks, individuals can be expected to credit or dismiss empirical evidence on "gun control risks" depending on whether it coheres or conflicts with their cultural values. Rather than focus on quantifying the impact of gun control laws on crime, then, academics and others who want to contribute to resolving the gun debate should dedicate themselves to constructing a new expressive idiom that will allow citizens to debate the cultural issues that divide them in an open and constructive way.
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What is the relationship among fear, danger, and the law? There are serious problems with the increasingly influential Precautionary Principle - the idea that regulators should take steps to protect against potential harms, even if causal chains are uncertain and even if we do not know that harms are likely to come to fruition. An investigation of such problems as global warming, terrorism, DDT, and genetic engineering shows that the Precautionary Principle is incoherent. Risks exist on all sides of social situations, and precautionary steps create dangers of their own. The idea of precaution seems operational only because diverse cultures focus on very different risks, with social influences and peer pressures accentuating some fears and reduce others. Cascades, the availability heuristic, loss aversion, and group polarization are highly relevant here. Instead of adopting the Precautionary Principle, regulators should take three steps: they should adopt a narrow Anti-Catastrophe Principle, designed for the most serious risks; pay close attention to costs and benefits; and accept an approach called "libertarian paternalism," designed to respect freedom of choice while also moving people in directions that will make their lives go better. An understanding of the dynamics of fear also shows how free societies can protect liberty amidst fears about terrorism and national security.
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of self-affirmation theory. Self-affirmation theory asserts that the overall goal of the self-system is to protect an image of its self-integrity, of its moral and adaptive adequacy. When this image of self-integrity is threatened, people respond in such a way as to restore self-worth. The chapter illustrates how self-affirmation affects not only people's cognitive responses to threatening information and events, but also their physiological adaptations and actual behavior. It examines the ways in which self-affirmations reduce threats to the self at the collective level, such as when people confront threatening information about their groups. It reviews factors that qualify or limit the effectiveness of self-affirmations, including situations where affirmations backfire, and lead to greater defensiveness and discrimination. The chapter discusses the connection of self-affirmations theory to other motivational theories of self-defense and reviews relevant theoretical and empirical advances. It concludes with a discussion of the implications of self-affirmations theory for interpersonal relationships and coping.
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It was postulated that shared values determine social trust in institutions and persons related to a technology: One has trust in people holding similar salient values. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that social trust has a positive influence on perceived benefits and a negative impact on perceived risks. Results of a survey of University of Zürich students indicated that the proposed causal model explained perception of pesticides, nuclear power, and artificial sweetener very well. When social trust was controlled, the relation between risks and benefits perceived diminished. Results indicate that social trust is a key predictive factor of the perceived risks and benefits of a technology, and provide support for the salient values similarity theory of social trust.
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Ample psychological evidence suggests that people’s learning behavior is often prone to a “myside bias” or “irrational belief persistence” in contrast to learning behavior exclusively based on objective data. In the context of Bayesian learning such a bias may result in diverging posterior beliefs and attitude polarization even if agents receive identical information. Such patterns cannot be explained by the standard model of rational Bayesian learning that implies convergent beliefs. Based on Choquet expected utility theory, we therefore develop formal models of Bayesian learning with psychological bias as alternatives to rational Bayesian learning. We derive conditions under which beliefs may diverge in the learning process despite the fact that all agents observe the same sample drawn from an i.i.d. process. Key to our approach is the description of ambiguous beliefs as neo-additive capacities (Chateauneuf et al., J Econ Theory 137:538–567, 2007), which allows for a flexible and parsimonious parametrization of departures from additive probability measures.
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This paper explores a judgmental heuristic in which a person evaluates the frequency of classes or the probability of events by availability, i.e., by the ease with which relevant instances come to mind. In general, availability is correlated with ecological frequency, but it is also affected by other factors. Consequently, the reliance on the availability heuristic leads to systematic biases. Such biases are demonstrated in the judged frequency of classes of words, of combinatorial outcomes, and of repeated events. The phenomenon of illusory correlation is explained as an availability bias. The effects of the availability of incidents and scenarios on subjective probability are discussed.
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Introduction General Conditions for the Randomization-Validity of Infinite-m Repeated-Imputation Inferences Examples of Proper and Improper Imputation Methods in a Simple Case with Ignorable Nonresponse Further Discussion of Proper Imputation Methods The Asymptotic Distribution of (Q̄m, Ūm, Bm) for Proper Imputation Methods Evaluations of Finite-m Inferences with Scalar Estimands Evaluation of Significance Levels from the Moment-Based Statistics Dm and Δm with Multicomponent Estimands Evaluation of Significance Levels Based on Repeated Significance Levels
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Narratives are increasingly subject to empirical study in a wide variety of disciplines. However, in public policy narratives are thought of almost exclusively as a post-structural concept outside the realm of empirical study. In this paper, after reviewing the major literature on narratives, we argue that policy narratives can be studied using systematic empirical approaches and introduce a "Narrative Policy Framework" (NPF) for elaboration and empirical testing. The NPF defines narrative structure and narrative content. We then discuss narrative at the micro-level of analysis and examine how narratives impact individual attitudes and hence aggregate public opinion. Similarly, we examine strategies for the studying of group and elite behavior using NPF. We conclude with seven hypotheses for researchers interested in elaborating the framework.
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There is a culture war in America over science. Why? And what should be done to promote the ability of culturally diverse citizens to agree on how science can inform their common interests in health, security, and prosperity? This article uses the findings of Cultural Cognition Project studies to address these question.
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To study the homogeneity and influences on scientists' perspectives of environmental risks, we have examined similarities and differences in risk perceptions, particularly regarding nuclear wastes, and policy preferences among 1011 scientists and engineers. We found significant differences (p < 0.05) in the patterns of beliefs among scientists from different fields of research. In contrast to physicists, chemists, and engineers, life scientists tend to: (a) perceive the greatest risks from nuclear energy and nuclear waste management; (b) perceive higher levels of overall environmental risk; (c) strongly oppose imposing risks on unconsenting individuals; and (d) prefer stronger requirements for environmental management. On some issues related to priorities among public problems and calls for government action, there are significant variations among life scientists or physical scientists. We also found that--independently of field of research--perceptions of risk and its correlates are significantly associated with the type of institution in which the scientist is employed. Scientists in universities or state and local governments tend to see the risks of nuclear energy and wastes as greater than scientists who work as business consultants, for federal organizations, or for private research laboratories. Significant differences also are found in priority given to environmental risks, the perceived proximity of environmental disaster, willingness to impose risks on an unconsenting population, and the necessity of accepting risks and sacrifices.
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This paper seeks to compare two frameworks which have been proposed to explain risk perceptions, namely, cultural theory and the psychometric paradigm. A structured questionnaire which incorporated elements from both approaches was administered to 129 residents of Norwich, England. The qualitative risk characteristics generated by the psychometric paradigm explained a far greater proportion of the variance in risk perceptions than cultural biases, though it should be borne in mind that the qualitative characteristics refer directly to risks whereas cultural biases are much more distant variables. Correlations between cultural biases and risk perceptions were very low, but the key point was that each cultural bias was associated with concern about distinct types of risks and that the pattern of responses was compatible with that predicted by cultural theory. The cultural approach also provided indicators for underlying beliefs regarding trust and the environment; beliefs which were consistent within each world view but divergent between them. An important drawback, however, was that the psychometric questionnaire could only allocate 32% of the respondents unequivocally to one of the four cultural types. The rest of the sample expressed several cultural biases simultaneously, or none at all. Cultural biases are therefore probably best interpreted as four extreme world views, and a mixture of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies would generate better insights into who might defend these views in what circumstances, whether there are only four mutually exclusive world views or not, and how these views are related to patterns of social solidarity, and judgments on institutional trust.
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Research has shown that people prefer supporting to conflicting information when making decisions. Whether this biased information search also occurs in group decision making was examined in three experiments. Experiment 1 indicated that groups as well as individuals prefer supporting information and that the strength of this bias depends on the distribution of the group members' initial decision preferences. The more group members had chosen the same alternative prior to the group discussion (group homogeneity), the more strongly the group preferred information supporting that alternative. Experiment 2 replicated these results with managers. Experiment 3 showed that the differences between homogeneous and heterogeneous groups reflect group-level processes. Higher commitment and confidence in homogeneous groups mediated this effect. Functional and dysfunctional aspects of biased information seeking in group decision making are discussed.
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Four studies demonstrated both the power of group influence in persuasion and people's blindness to it. Even under conditions of effortful processing, attitudes toward a social policy depended almost exclusively upon the stated position of one's political party. This effect overwhelmed the impact of both the policy's objective content and participants' ideological beliefs (Studies 1-3), and it was driven by a shift in the assumed factual qualities of the policy and in its perceived moral connotations (Study 4). Nevertheless, participants denied having been influenced by their political group, although they believed that other individuals, especially their ideological adversaries, would be so influenced. The underappreciated role of social identity in persuasion is discussed.
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Introductory statistics classes teach us that we can never prove the null hypothesis; all we can do is reject or fail to reject it. However, there are times when it is necessary to try to prove the nonexistence of a difference between groups. This most often happens within the context of comparing a new treatment against an established one and showing that the new intervention is not inferior to the standard. This article first outlines the logic of "noninferiority" testing by differentiating between the null hypothesis (that which we are trying to nullify) and the "nill" hypothesis (there is no difference), reversing the role of the null and alternate hypotheses, and defining an interval within which groups are said to be equivalent. We then work through an example and show how to calculate sample sizes for noninferiority studies.
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A study (N=198) was conducted to examine hypotheses derived from an emotion-based model of stigma responses to radiation sources. A model of stigma susceptibility is proposed in which affective reactions and cognitive worldviews activate predispositions to appraise and experience events in systematic ways that result in the generation of negative emotion, risk perceptions, and stigma responses. Results of structural equation modeling supported the hypotheses. Radiation sources that scored higher on a measure of stigma were included in the analyses (i.e., nuclear power plants, radioactive waste from nuclear power plants, radiation from nuclear weapons testing). Individual differences in negative reactivity and worldviews were associated with the strength of emotional appraisals that were associated, in turn, with negative emotion toward stigmatized radiation sources. As hypothesized, the model fit better with perceived risk as a function of negative emotion rather than vice versa. Finally, a measure of stigma was associated with negative emotion and, to a lesser extent, with risk perceptions. Risk communication about stigmatized objects may benefit from a more complete understanding of how affective and emotional reactions are constructed and the routes through which they affect responses and behaviors.
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The Department of Energy's program for disposing of high-level radioactive wastes has been impeded by overwhelming political opposition fueled by public perceptions of risk. Analysis of these perceptions shows them to be deeply rooted in images of fear and dread that have been present since the discovery of radioactivity. The development and use of nuclear weapons linked these images to reality and the mishandling of radioactive wastes from the nation's military weapons facilities has contributed toward creating a profound state of distrust that cannot be erased quickly or easily. Postponing the permanent repository and employing dry-cask storage of wastes on site would provide the time necessary for difficult social and political issues to be resolved.