From something I’m woring on (and useful refinement of this discussion of how to think about size of individual differences in one or another reasoning disposition). . .
c. Compared to ordinary science intelligence. Science curiosity—generally or as measured here—ought to be have some relationship to science comprehension. It is difficult to experience the pleasure of contemplating scientific insight if one is utterly devoid of any capacity for making sense of scientific evidence. Similarly, if one is aggressively uncurious about scientific insights, one is less likely to acquire the knowledge or the experience-based habits of mind to reason well about scientific insights.
Yet the two dispositons shouldn’t be viewed as one and the same. Many people who can detect covariances and successfully compute conditional probailities—analytical tasks essential to making sense of empirical evidence—are nevertheless uninterested in science for its own sake. Even more obvious, many people who are only modestly proficient in these technical aspects of assessing empirical evidence are interested—passionate even—about science. In sum, one would expect a science-curiosity measure, if valid, to be modestly correlated with but definitey not equivalent to a valid science comprhension measure.
SCS, the science-curious measure we formed (Kahan, Landrum & Carpenter 2015), has these properties. The association between SCS and the Ordinary Science Intelligence (OSI) assessment (Kahan 2016) was r = 0.26 in our two data collections. To make this effect more practically meaningful,
SCS has these properties. The association between SCS and the Ordinary Science Intelligence (OSI) assessment (Kahan 2016) was r = 0.26 in our two data collections. To make this effect more practically meaningful, the relationship between these measures implies that that individuals in the top quartile of SCS are over four times more likely than those in the bottom quartile to score in 90th percentile or above on the OSI assessment (Figure 6). This is a degree of association consistent with the expectation that higher science curiosity contributes materially to higher science comprehension. Nevertheless, in both studies science comprehension lacked meaningful predictive power in relation to engagement with the three science videos featured in our two studies (Figure 7). In other words, SCS measures a disposition that is apparently integral to the kind of proficiency in scientific reasoning measured by OSI, yet generates a form of behavior—the self-motivated consumption of science information for its own sake—that is unassociated with science comprehension by itself.
Kahan, D.M. ‘Ordinary science intelligence’: a science-comprehension measure for study of risk and science communication, with notes on evolution and climate change. J Risk Res. (2016), advance on line at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13669877.2016.1148067.