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Friday
Aug222014

For what it's worth: breaking down "belief in" GW vs. "belief in" AGW as function of partisanship & OCSI

As a result of (a) my aggregation of responses to the two-part question used to assess "belief in" human-caused global warming and (b) my failure to indicate that in the Figure label, there was some understandable confusion in the discussion in response to the "What exactly is going on in their heads?" post.

This should help.

Again, the "belief in" question I used -- patterned on standard opinion polling ones used by firms like Pew & Gallup-- has two parts:

  1. "From what you’ve read and heard, is there solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades?" [YES/NO]
     
  2. If yes: "Do you believe that the earth is getting warmer (a) mostly because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels or (b) mostly because of natural patterns in the earth’s environment?"

Among the people (N = 2000, nationally representative) who took the "Ordinary climate science intelligence" assessment, here is the breakdown for question (1) for respondents defined by their scores in relation to the mean on a "right-left" outlook scale (one that combined responses to items on party allegiance and liberal-conservative ideology):

These results are consistent with what US general public opinion surveys have shown for better part of a decade.

Here are the "item response" profiles-- plots of the predicted probability of answering these questions as indicated -- for subjects of opposing political outlooks in relation to their scores on the OCSI scale:

As can be seen, the probability both of "believing in" global warming and "belief in" human-caused global warming among those who believe in global warming becomes more politically polarized as individuals score higher on OCSI.

Note that OCSI itself is made up of items relating to the mechanisms and consequences of human-caused global warming.  Items on "belief in" global warming -- human or otherwise -- are not part of the scale, since the point was to see if comprehension of the mechanisms and consequences of human-caused climate change, on the one hand, have any particular connection to "belief in" human-caused global warming, on the other. The former clearly don't "cause" the latter!

 I've disabled comments here in order to prevent "forking" the discusison going on in connection with the "Whats going on ..." post.  So feel free to dispense your wisdom on these data there.

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