from correspondence ...
Dear Prof Kahan,I’m working on an article describing how our ideologies skew our ability to deal with the facts, no matter how true/scientifically sound they are. While researching this, I (obviously ;) landed upon your research. I’ve been eagerly reading papers and posts on Cultural Cognition –site, but there are couple of things I’m still unsure of. Namely:1 How does cultural cognition differ from motivated reasoning? Or is the latter included in the former; thus motivated reasoning is merely cultural cognition ”in action”?
2 Are smart people more prone to twist given facts so that they fit into their existing beliefs/values? Or are intelligent persons just moreskillful in this process...?
3 Is motivated reasoning unconsious reaction? Do we know we do it? Does everybody do it, even the ones who try not to?
4 If motivated reasoning is unconsious (= automatic), how on earth do we stop it? Can we?
I have to confess this whole phenomena bothers me to the bone, both as a human being and (especially) as a science journalist. How can we, how can anyone promote rational ideas or actions or work towards the kind of society s/he thinks is worthwhile, if s/he doesn’t first know how thing are, thus is able to take in the facts?
I would appreciate enormously, if you found a minute answering me.With kind regards,