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« Still more Q & A on "cultural cognition scales" -- and on the theory behind & implications of them | Main | Still more on the political sensitivity of model recalibration »

"Another country heard from": a German take on cultural cognition

Anyone care to translate? (I did study German in college, but I've retained only tourist-essential phrases such as, "HaltSie sind verhaftet!" "Hände hoch oder Ich schieße!" etc.)

Also, is the idiom "another country heard from" still in common usage? Probably something people say only when they mean it to remark that someone who really is from another country is saying something -- & of course that's not really the occasion for it (& I certainly don't mean to be expressing the attitude here that my grandmother did when she would say it about some intervention of mine into a dinner table debate!).


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Reader Comments (3)

Some of this is a bit questionable, but it's something like:

Denial of reality by climate skeptics
Submitted by Sarma Amardeo 20 April 2013 in Global Warming, GWUP, pseudoscience, religion, conspiracies and science. 2 Comments

Are better education, the ability for rational thought, or better access to science and its findings really better?

This hope may be deceptive.

In the world's best and most respected peer-reviewed publications, such as Nature, Science or Nature Climate Change, one can easily verify that climate change is not "controversial," no more than evolution or the relationship between AIDS and HIV.

There is a clear consensus among scientists.

Why are there these sometimes fanatical attacks on the findings of climate science and the scientists involved?

In an article for Nature on August 2012 Dan M. Kahan of Yale Law School believes that our stance on climate change, for example, is heavily influenced by our beliefs and our world view. When this information jeopardizes fundamental beliefs, it is likely to be rejected.

In another article for Nature Climate Change (for download) Kahan writes that education (science literacy and numeracy) even increased the polarization on this issue.

The "educated" search for specific information with the least potential for conflict with their own peer group. This partial rejection of certain scientific knowledge is created in childhood, as Paul Bloom and Deena Skolnick Weisberg write in Science.

Also: Depending on the ideological orientation value people the same risk differently.

The cognitive scientist Dan Kahan, represents this in the following diagram:

Cultural worldviews and risk perceptions, courtesy of Dan Kahan

In the U.S. especially who identify strongly with the free market, assess the risk of climate change to be low.

Classic conservatives see a big risk in abortion.(?) Liberals (in the German sense) evaluate this as less of a problem as they classify involuntary psychiatric treatment to be more critical. (?)

Der Spiegel reported in Psychological Science, a publication about the ideologically motivated rejection of scientific knowledge. Also, there is talk of the connection between faith in the market and the rejection of scientific findings of climate research.

And how does it look now, when victims of the effect are confronted with results from science that threaten their worldview?

We stay with the example of anthropogenic global warming (AGW):

Just to confirm the findings of recent months, which is the consensus in the vast majority of climate scientists.

Marcott et al. demonstrate in a recent contribution to science, that the Earth has warmed more over the last hundred years compared to 11,300 years ago. For this purpose, there is also a freely available FAQ. Because, as expected, was not the "criticism" from. (?)

Nature Climate Change is therefore devoted to the question of the discrepancy between the assessment of the public and experts on climate change.

Are personal experiences changed by one's own point of view - and if so, how? Or is it the other way around and your own personal experiences influenced opinion? How does the perceived scientific consensus affects the attitude of the public?

Even the appearance of expertise seem to affect it, people recognize the person with whom they share a specific cultural preference as a professional.

This is illustrated in the following graph:

Experts for people with different worldviews also see things differently - courtesy of Dan Kahan

The political opponent is also clearly defined:

Climate change is a conspiracy of Socialists and the Greens, they say. The UN is often accused of doing wrong.

Similarly this can also be found in the discussion of other scientific evidence, endangering their worldviews (seemingly or actually). That evolution is a deception of atheists with the purpose of enforcing materialism. Monsanto or "industry" as a whole supposedly concealed genetic studies because they show great dangers.

The relationship between HIV and AIDS is an invention of the pharmaceutical industry.

Always the same pattern of all these allegations: Mainstream scientists are paid by the other side, are greedy or are corrupt. The scientific heroes against it - usually without recognition in the concerned subject or real outsider - are suppressed.

At the same time one goes inexorably on to the concerned scientists: although all relevant scientific institutions say the concerned scientists are in the right, they are still hounded by the media over the buzzword "Climategate".

Nature writes that it was paranoid interpretations of the stolen emails.

In addition to Al Gore and Michael E. Mann in the U.S., Stefan Rahmstorf in Germany was targeted as an enemy.

If you want to find out about the character assassination of Gore, man and especially Rahmstorf, one needs only to read the comments in German blogs and news reports.

Another important aspect for the rejection of scientific findings is the discrepancy between the perceived and the actual consensus among experts. Lewandowsky, Gignac and Vaughan write about this in Nature Climate Change.

The acceptance of the AGW hypothesis increases with the perception of consensus on this issue in science.

Information about the current state of science in AGW, as in the classic GWUP issues, is obviously not enough. We must also emphasize that there is a clear consensus on these issues in science.

But we must also solve the substantive issues of their ideological commitment, as I wrote in the skeptics 4/2012.

Although it is sometimes very difficult: we must show that the results of science ultimately benefit us all. This is much better than temporarily pleasant illusions.

And we must try to extract these topics from the identity of individuals and groups.

The facts should be separated from the question of how we should act in the face of these findings.

This position was echoed Sven Ove Hansson in his presentation "Risk, skeptics and the Pseudoskeptics Paid" at the World Skeptics Conference 2012 in Berlin.

It requires a distinction between science (clarification of the facts) and policy (question of policy measures).

Once the results of science are accepted, there is enough space to set political and ideological priorities and argue about different options for action.

April 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

@NiV: Thanks! Meanwhile, some more nullius in verba -- one of your favorite themes, on which I'm slowly, imperceptibly (of course, imperceptibly; that is an essential part of my strategy) moving you over to my position -- here.

April 20, 2013 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

ROTFLMAO. ""Marcott et al. demonstrate in a recent contribution to science, that the Earth has warmed more over the last hundred years compared to 11,300 years ago."" Too bad the discernment of their methodology is 250 years, and the paper did not claim this; but the authors did in talks where they show their cultural cognitive bias; or as Joshua states "Their motivated reasoning."

My goodness "Nature writes that it was paranoid interpretations of the stolen emails." Nature was full of it on this issue. As someone who spent weeks studying the emails and published a couple of posts on the contents, the real paranoids were the climate scientists, when they weren't showing confirmation bias and discussing each other's special pleadings.

Hopefully NiV translation is correct. If not, it is unintentionally very funny.

April 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn F. Pittman

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