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« Toggling the switch between cognitive engagement with "America's two climate changes"--not so hard in *the lab* | Main | Sad but grateful ... knowing Beth Garrett »
Wednesday
Mar232016

"America's two climate changes ..." & how science communicators should/shouldn't address them ... today in Burlington, VT


More "tomorrow," but a preview ... you tell me what it means!

 

 

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Reader Comments (11)

Yes, the prefix is crucial. The two statements, with and without the prefix, are very different statements. I'm sure we've discussed this before somewhere at your blog!

March 23, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Matthews

@PaulMathews--

Yes. But it's the nuclear one that is my response to many who've participated in previous discussion.

March 23, 2016 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

The first two graphs are unclear to me. The second pair are much more informative.

Judging from the slope of the line, or more precisely the correctness on the left side of the OSI scale, the second question is harder than the first - correctness in the solid lines shows more improvement with increasing OSI.

In both cases, the two solid lines basically track each other. You can see which people, left-leaning or right-leaning, are on which side of each "issue" by looking at the solid lines. Disagreement from the scientific consensus is driven primarily by people who know a lot and think they know better. Right and left are equally susceptible.

Hey Dan, do you have sex data on these populations? I'm asking because of that crazy-significant regression factor in that expert study.

March 23, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdypoon

@Dypoon-- maybe today's post is more helpful? The point is to show how "prefix" helps toggle identity-expressive vs. knowledge-evincing answers

On gender, 54% female, 46% male w/ the OSI_2.0 data featured here... Which study are you referring to? Did I miss something?!

March 24, 2016 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

The point is to show how "prefix" helps toggle identity-expressive vs. knowledge-evincing answers

It helps a bit - your interpretation is certainly consistent with the data, more measured and less strong than mine. You're a professional, after all. Mine's really more of a hypothesis disguised as an intepretation. What the bottom pair of graphs says to me is that here are people who know they know little, and people who know much, and it is the people who know much who feel entitled to hold and express their own (culturally derived) opinion, right and left alike.

I think what I'm getting at is that people really do believe something - you can't just toggle the expression of answers and claim that the identity/knowledge gap has been bridged. It's like how most people at the end of a first-year physics class will have been trained to say that the acceleration at the top of the parabolic trajectory of a thrown object is g down, but if you ask them right after that what they really believe for 0 points on the exam, a good number of them will immediately revert to saying a = 0. Using the prefix doesn't really contribute to de-escalating the scientific communication environment if it doesn't actually address how differences in peoples worldviews create the polarization.

Of course, you never claimed it did, did you? I'm actually a bit unclear on the point...

Which study are you referring to? Did I miss something?!

I'm referring to the study of scientists' and engineers' opinions of climate change that you linked here before, where they found that whether a scientist/engineer was male was a significant predictor of whether they believed climate change was occurring (at all - not whether or not it was caused by humans). Because of that result in that study, I think we have reason to investigate whether factual deviations at the high-OSI end of the general population may be sex-linked as well. I think with that sex split you should be able to see a difference, if it exists.

You yourself remarked that such a large multiple logistic regression coefficient for sex weakened the support for a theory of convergent expert opinion (I paraphrase), if that helps you recall the conversation.

March 24, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdypoon

==> ...you can't just toggle the expression of answers and claim that the identity/knowledge gap has been bridged...Using the prefix doesn't really contribute to de-escalating the scientific communication environment if it doesn't actually address how differences in peoples worldviews create the polarization.

I agree.

IMO, you haven't built a bridge so much as created a detour. IMO, you "bridge" the gap through a targeted intervention that moves people towards accountability for and ownership over their motivated reasoning.

March 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

@dypoon--

Oh that study. I forgot about that! I'm thinking that aspect of the study didn't mean much... But makes me wonder; shit, have I ever looked at gender-OSI iknteractions in any of this?..

March 24, 2016 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

@Joshua & @Dypoon--

Frankly, if I never "solve" any problem, BFD. I'm just trying to figure out how things work.

But also, figuring out how things work tends to be a good first step for fixing them when they are broken.

Obviously, "cognitive dualism" is very provisional. But the reason I think it makes sense to pay attention to devices for "toggling" between information processing that is identity-expressive & science-knowledge-evincing is that free & reasoning people might well decide that they'd like *certain* of the domains in which they make certain types of decisions -- ones about the health of their children, about learning about how the world works for edification, about the running of their commercial activities, about the determination of legal rights of others, and even about risk regulation-- to be set up to elicit the latter.

I think that's what they are figuring out how to do on climate change in SE Fla. -- & if so, then we should try to learn how to do this systematically.

Pretty sure I've made that point before (w/o even checking-- b/c as I've pointed out, it's always very unusual for me to say something new,)

March 24, 2016 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

Thanks, Dan, for posting those MLR results (again?) and the analysis. The parameter (male) loses significance as other parameters are added, but (CR x male) remains marginally significant ...suggests to me that there may be a latent political factor correlated with maleness that suffices to drive the male signal among scientists/engineers but remains politically charged in the general population. Indeed, you found hierarchs in that previous analysis, which is to me is a really interesting hint, because my own wrong bet was individualists, and not hierarchs. That finding weakens the support for skepticism being the real primary driver of cultural cognition, and points instead to some invisible authority, or to inequality.

I'm trying to speculate as to what worldviews drive the polarization with OSI, because without asking that question I sort of get stuck trying to resolve this chicken-or-egg scenario: do people trust some experts because those experts say what the people are predisposed to believe, or do the people become predisposed to believe certain things because experts they for some reason trust say so? Which comes first, which is more important to deconstruct, which causes the other?

March 26, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdypoon

=>> do people trust some experts because those experts say what the people are predisposed to believe, or do the people become predisposed to believe certain things because experts they for some reason trust say so?

Yes.

March 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

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