Well, much like the administrators of the Affordable Health Care Act , I’ve learned the hard way how difficult it can be to anticipate and manage an excited tidal wave of interest surging through the internet toward one’s web portal.
Yes, “tomorrow” has arrived, but because I’ve been inundated with so many 10^3’s of serious entries for the latest MAPKIA, I’ve been unable to process them all, even with the help of my CCP state-of-the-art “big data” MAPKIA automated processor [cut & paste: http://www.palantir.net/2001/tma1/wav/foolprf.wav]
So taking a page from the President’s playbook, I’m extending the deadline of “tomorrow” to “tomorrow,” which is when I’ll post the “results” of the “Where is Ludwick” MAPKIA. In the meantime, entries will continue to be accepted.
But while we wait, how about some related info relevant to an issue that came up in discussion of the ongoing MAPKIA?
In response to my observation that Ludwick’s are “rare”—less than 3% of the U.S. population--@PaulMathews stated that “Ludwicks are not a rare species” in the UK but rather
are quite common. For example, two of our most prominent climate campaigners, Mark Lynas and George Monbiot, are pro-nuclear and pro-GMO.
Well it so happens that I have data that enables an estimation of the population frequency of Ludwicks—that is, individuals who are simultaneously (a) concerned about climate change risk but not much concerned about the risks of (b) nuclear power and (c) GM foods—in England.
Not the UK, certainly, but I think better evidence of what the true frequency is in the UK than reference to a list of commentators (indeed, compiling lists of “how many of x” one can think of is clearly an invalid way to estimate such things, given the obvious sampling bias involved, not to mention the abundant number of even people with very rare combinations of whatever in countries with populations in the tens or hundreds of millions).
It turns out that Ludwicks are even rarer in England than in the U.S. Consider:
Again, a scatterplot of survey respondents (1300 individuals from a nationally representative sample of individuals recruited to participate in CCP “cross-cultural cultural cognition” studies—including the one in our forthcoming paper “Geoengineering and Climate Change Polarization”) arrayed in relationship to their perceptions of nuclear power and climate change risks.
I’ve defined a Ludwick as an individual whose scores on a 0-10 industrial strength risk perception measure (ISRPM10) are ≥ 9 for global warming, ≤ 2 for nuclear power, and ≤ 2 for GM foods.
Those numbers are pretty close equivalents for the scores I used to compute U.S. Ludwicks on the 0-7 industrial strength risk perception measure (≥ 6, ≤ 2, & ≤ 2, respectively) in the data set I used for the MAPKIA (I determined equivalence by comparing the z-scores on the respective ISRPM7 and ISRPM10 scales).
As I said, less than 3% of the US population holds the Ludwick combination of risk perceptions.
But in England, less than 2% do!
But @PaulMathews shouldn’t feel bad—it’s just not easy to gauge these things by personal observation! I trust my own intuitions, and those of any socially competent and informed observe (@Paulmathews certainly is) but verify with empirical measurement to compensate for the inevitably partial perspective any individual is constrained to have.
There are some other cool things that can be gleaned from this cross-cultural comparison—ones, in fact, that definitely surprised me but might well have informed @Paulmathews’ conjecture.
One is that there’s not nearly as much of an affinity between climate change risk perceptions and nuclear ones in the England (r = 0.26, p < 0.01) as there is in the U.S. (r = 0.47, p < 0.01).
The reason that this surprised me is that in our study of “cross-cultural cultural cognition,” we definitely found that climate change risk perceptions in England fit the cultural-polarization profile (“hierarch individualists, skeptical” vs. “egalitarian communitarians, concerned”) that is familiar here.
Another thing: while the population frequency of Ludwicks is lower than in England than in the U.S., the probability of being a Ludwick conditional on holding the nonconformist pairing of high concern for climate and low for nuclear risks is higher in England.
In the scatterplot of English respondents, I’m defining the “Monbiot region” as the space occupied by survey respondents whose ISRPM10 scores for global warming and nuclear were ≥ 9 for global warming, ≤ 2, respectively.
The analogous neighborhood in the U.S. is the “Ropeik region” (global warming ISRPM7 ≥ 6 and nuclear power ISRPM7 ≤ 2).
Whereas about 33% of the residents of the U.S. Ropeik region are Ludwicks, over 60% of the residents of Monbiot are Ludwicks.
What does this signify?
No doubt something interesting, but I’m not sure what!
Do others have views? People who have a better grasp of English cultural meanings & who would be more likely than I to venture sensible interpretations (ones, obviously, that would still need to be empirically verified, of course)?
Could this information be of any use in constructing a successful Ludwick profile in the US (or in England for that matter)?
In generating some data to respond to an interesting observation/query from @Niv, I discovered that I hadn't adjusted the "color coding" of the observations to reflect the difference between the 11-point English industrial strength risk perception measure & the 8-point US one for GM foods. As a result, the "GM food risk believers" (red) were underepresented in the scatterplot, which also had the effect of visually concealing the strength of the correlation (r = 0.26) between nuclear risk and climate change risk perceptions in the (English) sample.
@NIV's observation was that the effect doesn't look very impressive. I'm guessing he is likely to think that it still doesn't -- and that's because it is in fact quite modest.
@NIV also wondered whether the effect reflected in the correlation was being driven by values at one or both extremes, obscuring that the effect is even closer to nil across most of the range. This is a good question -- and it illustrates how important it is for analysts to allow critical readers to observe the raw data rather than just report summary statistics that might in fact hide relationships of consequence (particuarly nonlinear ones) in the data.
Likely he & others can see more clearly now whether the positive correlation obtains in the "middle" part of the plot. But just to enhance everyone's visual acuity, I've superimposed a lowess line rather than a fitted regression one in the version below:
A lowess plot reflects a "locally weighted" regession. In the family of regression "smoothers," it basically breaks the data into a series of tiny slices along the x-axis, fits a regression to each slice, and then connects the resulting series of plotted slopes. Obviously, it is "overfitting" in that sense. But one of the main values of lowess and related "smoothing" techniques is to make the "shape" of the distribution of the raw data even more apparent, thereby faciliting judgment about whether that shape is close enough to the one that a particular statistical models superimpose on the data to make that model a reasonable one for representing the relationships between variables of interest.
I think the lowess line here suggests that the "linear" model inherent in describing the relationship between nuclear and global warming risk perceptions as "r = 0.26" is defensible -- i.e., less wrong than the statistical characteriation that would be be generated by any alternative, nonlinear model.
But the point is you should be able to see the data & make judgments like this for yourself!
For record, btw, the values I selected for risk "GMO risk neutral" and "GMO risk high" were 3-8 & ≥ 9 on the 0-10 ISRPM