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Reader Comments (6)

My new, favorite connection to motivated reasoning: Moral disengagement.

I think that the overlap is very strong. For example, a large % of what I see in the climate wars amounts to a struggle for moral agency. I think it also sheds interesting light on the notion of "knowing disbelief."

April 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua


I continue to dislike this way of displaying your inferences. The series of little bars look like they represent a bunch of data points, but you're just displaying a single fitted model. I think it would be better to display the data: in each bin, show the proportion of correct responses for people in that bin.

April 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Gelman


Would that look different from this?

Or this, if put science comprehension on x-asis?

The "bins" you describe are equivalent to the slices of x-axis associated with the bandwith used by the smoother, right?

If this is what you have in mind, then I think the answer is to do both-- b/c either by itself can be misleading.

If you have something else in mind, how about I send you the data & you show me?

(And at least you agree that if one does fit a model, it's not "better" to mar the figure w/ ugly colored confidence-interval band, right?!)

April 8, 2016 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

I don't object to the bins as much as the axes. Although I do see Andrew Gelman's point, that the graphs look like a broad sweep of data.

With regard to the axes labels: In many states, independents are now a full third of the voters. Plus, as primaries are demonstrating, the political parties aren't united entities and have considerable internal differences, that don't map to a conservative-liberal divide, but world view that might separate more on support for and from the economic establishment and those that oppose it. Additionally, we might also include an intellectual establishment. See for example: Which turns into internal Party divides based on age and sometimes education. On the Republican side, where on the axes above would Donald Trump be placed?

Energy projects might divide out as to whether or not you favored big, centralized projects whether they be coal fired power plants, hydroelectric dams, a huge desert solar array or nuclear facilities, or a distributed grid with small scale inputs divorced from or more loosely linked to centralized systems. All of this plays into the politics of who is in charge.

Also the key word to highlight in Dan Kahan's original question above in my opinion, is "generation". Are we talking about nuclear power plants only in their operation, or including the amount of fossil fuel efforts necessary to mine the fuel, build the facilities, tear then down when their life cycle is completed, and dispose of the waste? Should we include fossil fuel cleanup allowances for human errors in siting and maintenance as for future 3 Mile Islands and Fukushimas?

An unrelated aspect of the need for a full lifecycle energy analysis: It is now becoming apparent that natural gas, thanks to sloppy fracking operations and storage facilities leaking methane, is not a bridge fuel away from 'dirty" coal to a clean energy future but rather a green house gas disaster.

April 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGaythia Weis

Gaythia -

==> Plus, as primaries are demonstrating, the political parties aren't united entities and have considerable internal differences, that don't map to a conservative-liberal divide, but world view that might separate more on support for and from the economic establishment and those that oppose it. Additionally, we might also include an intellectual establishment

I wouldn't have much confidence in support for and from the economic establishment as a differentiating criterion that is terribly much more informative than a conservative-liberal divide. It astounds me that people see Trump, given his background, lifelong activities, associations, etc., as some sort of anti-economic establishment maverick/rebel. (And what is the "economic establishment" as some sort of coherent and distinct entity anyway - given the multi-faceted nature of what comprises our economic environment)?

The very idea of creating a taxonomy on the basis of beliefs or values seems inherently problematic to me, as such phenomena as "moral disengagement" and (Orwell's) "doublespeak" show that people are not consistent in how they align across issues and circumstances with respect to belief- and value-based axes.

It seems to me that identity configurations need to be taken, at least to some degree, as independent from external criteria. Much has been made of racial resentment as a unifying force in coalescing Trump supporters - a resentment that certainly crosses lines of party affiliation, but economic lines as well, and support for Trump clearly has a complicated interaction with views on support from economic support from the government. Trump support doesn't association so much with a coherent view of whether economic support from</.strong>government is justified, so much as who it is that getseconomic support from government.

In general, my view is that looking for these types of associations with views on polarized issues is of some value, but the value is limited. I have the same reaction to Dan's focus on associations with reliance on system 2 reasoning, or "scientific literacy." The associations aren't strong enough, IMO, to be particularly explanatory of much. The forces that affect the constellation of how people align on these issues run deeper. The causality is more directly linked to cognitive processing at a deeper level (pattern recognition) and the basics of psychology (identity formation) and they can manifest in any variety of directions,accordingly, across different contexts and in different circumstances.

April 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua


April 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

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