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Monday
Mar132017

Potential Zika polarization in pictures

Maybe you can get the gist of the experiment in pictures?  If not, you can always read the (open-source) paper (Kahan, D.M., Jamieson, K.H., Landrum, A. & Winneg, K., Culturally antagonistic memes and the Zika virus: an experimental test, J. Risk Res. 20, 1-40 (2017)).

A model

Toxic memes ...


Affective impacts ...

Information-processing degradation


 

 

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Reader Comments (4)

While the above "toxic meme"analysis has a lot of validity to it, I think that there is also no way to separate topics into isolated silos.

While mosquitoes do not check immigration status before biting, they do attack only those that are outside and unprotected. Thus, those who live in or travel to tropical areas but spend their time in air conditioned buildings or drving to and from said building in air conditioned cars with only the briefest of exposure to the outside world are probable pretty safe.

As a western US resident, I think that those who want to use the spread of such things as mosquito borne disease to draw attention to global climate change, are missing the fact that in many areas, warmer also means drier. But should people realize that the Aedes aegypti mosquito that can carry Zika and also yellow and dengue fevers might extend its range northwards? I think that ought to be obvious good science based public health.

Perhaps the most partisan inflammatory link to Zika has to do with birth control and abortion. https://www.statnews.com/2016/02/23/colombia-abortion-zika/. In earlier times, rubella sparked our national abortion debate: http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/01/31/464750384/zika-virus-isnt-the-first-disease-to-spark-a-debate-about-abortion.

The possibility of combating Zika by the release of genetically modified mosquitoes puts it at the heart of the GMO regulation debate, with the need for public discussion and regulation of such things as "terminator genes" and the prospect of the deliberate elimination of an entire species. (As opposed to the species extinctions to which we are rather oblivious in the process of farming, land and water development, transport of competing species, and chemical use.)

The big issue of public health is the manner in which we lack the political will to take sufficient proactive actions to address emerging epidemics. Some of this may be due partisan entanglements as proposed above. But a lot has to do with the manner in which, even when we have publicly funded R & D, Big Pharma still may step in to profiteer: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/10/opinion/bernie-sanders-trump-should-avoid-a-bad-zika-deal.html?_r=0

March 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGaythia Weis

Just dropping off another interesting link:

https://phys.org/news/2017-03-democrats-republicans-conclusions-seasons-hot.html

March 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

@jonathan-- thanks. There are quite a number of studies on how ideological or cultural predispositions affect perception of weather. This one's results suggeset a more limited effect than others

March 13, 2017 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

Some relevant coverage:

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/this-article-wont-change-your-mind/519093

March 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

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