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Sunday
Sep242017

Cross-cultural cultural cognition's latest conquest: Slovakia!

An interesting article on "emerging technology" risk perceptions, this paper also joins the ranks of ones reporting the application of the Cultural Cognition Worldview scales to non-US samples. In addition to the US, studies based on these measures have been carried out in England, Switzerland, Australia, Norway, ... Am I forgetting any others? Probably. If another comes to me, I'll modify the list.

The paper examined risk perceptions of both nanotechnology and the HPV vaccine.  One of the studies tested for biased assimilation--by examining whether information exposure generated polarization (cf. Kahan et al. 2009). Another looked at how culturally identifiable advocates influenced credibility (cf. Kahan et al. 2010).

There were robust cultural worldview effects in both studies.  The "cultural credibility" effect was also replicated (sadly, though, the article has only minimal discussion of how the authors created "culturally identifiable" advocates, nor did they reproduces the stimulus material used to do so). There wasn't a "culturally biased assimilation" effect, however.

The results in Kostovičová et al. suggested a good deal of U.S-Slovakia correspondence on the impact of cultural worldviews on the risks examined, but not a perfect one.

Actually, no one should be surprised if the results of studies on non-US samples differ from the ones performed on US samples.  As I've argued before, there's nothing in the theory of Cultural Cognition that compels inter-cultural uniformity on risk/worldview mappings; the theory predicts there will be conflicts among competing cultural groups, but anticipates that the issues that provoke such conflict will vary across societies in a manner that reflects their distinctive histories. Indeed, a large part of the value of "C4" (cross-cultural cultural cognition) is that it equips researchers with a metric for examining such differences.

The paper also reports a bunch of interesting findings on the interaction of worldviews and characteristics such as gender and prior familiarity with the risk being analyzed.

Pretty cool stuff!

Take a look & see what you think.

References

Kahan, D. M., Braman, D., Slovic, P., Gastil, J., & Cohen, G. (2009). Cultural Cognition of the Risks and Benefits of Nanotechnology. Nature Nanotechnology, 4(2), 87-91.

Kahan, D., Braman, D., Cohen, G., Gastil, J., & Slovic, P. (2010). Who Fears the HPV Vaccine, Who Doesn’t, and Why? An Experimental Study of the Mechanisms of Cultural Cognition. Law and Human Behavior, 34(6), 501-516. doi:10.1007/s10979-009-9201-0

Kostovičová, L., Bašnáková, J., & Bačová, V. (2017). Predicting Perception of Risks and Benefits within Novel Domains. Studia Psychologica, 59(3), 176-192.

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