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« SCS vs. AOT ... latest "politically motivated reasoning steel cage match" | Main | SCS vs. CRT: Another politically motivated reasoning steel cage match! »

Does "Actively Open Minded Thinking" Aggravate Political Polarization on Climate Change? Looks like it . . . (New paper)

I’ll likely have more to say about this little (it really is little—< 2,000 words) paper.  But for now suffice it to say that I’ve fallen off the wagon and am back to the asymmetry thesis . . . . It will never let me go!

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Reader Comments (4)

Jonathan Haidt

It really is a fact that liberals are much higher than conservatives on a major personality trait called openness to experience. People who are high in openness to experience just crave novelty, variety, diversity, new ideas, travel. People low on it like things that are familiar, that are safe and dependable.

Is it open-minded thinking increases or decreases polarization, or that it is a by-product of ideological orientation, which orrelates with polarization? Or some combination thereof?

August 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Dan -

==> If polarization over the reality of human-caused climate change is a consequence of a deficit in Actively Open-minded Thinking among conservatives, then one would expect the conservatives lowest in AOT to be substantially more skeptical of climate change than those highest in AOT. ==>

What pattern would one expect w/r/t the relationship between AOT and views on climate change among liberals?

What about among "moderates?"

Wouldn't it be important to test for strength of ideological orientation? Isn't the value of his analysis limited if you treat conservatives, say, as all being equal in terms of the influence of their ideological orientation on their beliefs?

August 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

One might expect liberals to become less confident, if one thought they were overconfident in general about climate change. But if one thought that the evidence was predominantly in favor of the reality of AGW, and that low-AOT liberals believed in AGW w/o much reflection (for identity-epxressive reasons), then one might expect the association between AOT & belief in AGW to be flat.

For moderates, I think, to avoid the mistake of finding them to be free of politically motivated reasoning as a statistical artificat of how one measures political identity, one would have to measure their identities w/ an identity-based scale other than left-right political outlooks --like cultural worldviews.</>

Do you think people high in AOT are more likely to *be* political moderates?...

August 16, 2016 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

Climate skeptic conservatives are usually people who do the legwork for themselves. They look at the evidence. Workout, in their own minds, whether it makes sense. They often apply their own scientific and engineering knowledge to make sense of the facts. Catastrophic climate change due to CO2 GHG never made sense. It is quite easy to see through when you take the time to read a few a books about the actual scientific foundations of the hypothesis. Very few Liberals I know do that. Green activists are liberals too: feminists, anti-racist, atheists, etc. Left / Liberals take the enviros' words as given. They accept what environmentalists tell them, despite knowing the same enviros lied to them in the past (e.g. over nuclear power, GMOs, organic farming).

I'm unsure whether liberal belief in AGW is based on contempt for conservatives or belief in what the enviros tell them!

I'm a left / liberal sort. I used to "believe in" CO2-induced AGW on the basis that "if 95% of scientists say this it must be true". I basically said to myself: "Climate is a wicked problem, so it will take loads of reading to make any sense of this for myself, so I should trust what the 'experts' say." In other words - when I "believed" I was bracketing the problem to be considered later.

Then I looked at the actual science and the sand castle of global warming just dissolved. Even when I was a climate believer, I was somewhat suspicious of greens. Perhaps that's how I managed to escape the Liberal mind-paralyzation meme of AGW? I just said to myself "let me spend a few weeks reading over this to see what I find".

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March 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMark Pawelek

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