follow CCP

Recent blog entries
popular papers

Science Curiosity and Political Information Processing

What Is the "Science of Science Communication"?

Climate-Science Communication and the Measurement Problem

Ideology, Motivated Cognition, and Cognitive Reflection: An Experimental Study

'Ideology' or 'Situation Sense'? An Experimental Investigation of Motivated Reasoning and Professional Judgment

A Risky Science Communication Environment for Vaccines

Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government

Making Climate Science Communication Evidence-based—All the Way Down 

Neutral Principles, Motivated Cognition, and Some Problems for Constitutional Law 

Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus

The Tragedy of the Risk-Perception Commons: Science Literacy and Climate Change

"They Saw a Protest": Cognitive Illiberalism and the Speech-Conduct Distinction 

Geoengineering and the Science Communication Environment: a Cross-Cultural Experiment

Fixing the Communications Failure

Why We Are Poles Apart on Climate Change

The Cognitively Illiberal State 

Who Fears the HPV Vaccine, Who Doesn't, and Why? An Experimental Study

Cultural Cognition of the Risks and Benefits of Nanotechnology

Whose Eyes Are You Going to Believe? An Empirical Examination of Scott v. Harris

Cultural Cognition and Public Policy

Culture, Cognition, and Consent: Who Perceives What, and Why, in "Acquaintance Rape" Cases

Culture and Identity-Protective Cognition: Explaining the White Male Effect

Fear of Democracy: A Cultural Evaluation of Sunstein on Risk

Cultural Cognition as a Conception of the Cultural Theory of Risk

« much scarier than nanotechnology | Main | Industrial strength risk perception measure »

question on feedback between cultural affinity & credibility

John Timmer writes:

Greetings -
I've read a number of your papers regarding how people's cultural biases influence their perception of expertise.  I was wondering if you were aware of any research on the converse of this process – where people read material from a single expert and, in the absence of any further evidence, infer their cultural affinities. I'm intrigued by the prospect of a self-reinforcing cycle, where readers infer cultural affinity based on objective information (i.e., acceptance of the science of climate change), and then interpret further writing through that inferred affinity.
Any information or thoughts you could provide on this topic would be appreciated.

Am hoping others might have better answer than me-- if so, please post them! -- but here is what I said:

Hi, John. Interesting. Don't know of any.

Some conjectures:
a. I would die of shock if there weren't a good number of studies out there, particularly in political science, looking at how position-taking creates a kind of credibility aura or spillover or persuasiveness capital etc -- & how about how durable it is.
b. There is probably some stuff out there on how citizens simultaneously update their beliefs when they get expert opinions & update their views on experts' knowledge & credibility as they get information from those experts that contradicts their beliefs. Pretty tricky to figure out the right way to do that even from a "rational decisionmaking" point of view! 
I wish I could say, oh, "read this this & this" -- but I haven't seen these things specifically or if I have I didn't make note of them. But there's so much stuff on confirmation bias, bayesian updating, & source credibility that it is just inconceivable that these issues haven't been looked at. If I see something (likely now I'll take note), I'll let you know.
c.  There's lots of stuff on in-group affinities & credibility & persuasion. Our stuff is like that. But I *doubt* that the interaction of  this w/ a & b  -- & the contribution of this feedback effect in generating conflict over things like societal risks has been examined. That's exactly what your interested in, of course. But I'd start w/ a&b & see what I found!



PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>