Don’t worry: I’m sure they’ll have a pill to treat your “motivated reasoning” disorder soon.
… Read the rest
Like many in the USA, especially perhaps those of us not allowed to go to work right now or with reason to feel anxious about the future, I’m particularly pre-occupied by these issues at the moment, and the various impediments to clear, community-spirited thinking.
And then researchers serendipitously dropped another relevant study on cognitive bias into the literature. Lewandowsky, Gignac and Oberauer conducted a study of people in the USA. It’s here in PLOS One.
They discuss a way that science communication processes can sometimes backfire. When the views of people seen as experts converge on an issue, it has a strong influence on other people’s thinking. So generally, a strong scientific consensus can be convincing to many others, too. Climate science is an example where growing consensus among scientists reduced the influence of climate change denial.