Applying the Science of Science Communication
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 11:29AM
Dan Kahan

I’m giving a talk tomorrow on motivated numeracy at the University of Utah.  In the very generous allotment of time they’ve afforded me (30 mins or so), I should be able to make pretty good progress in showing why cultural cognition is not attributable to some defect in individual rationality. 

But I’ll still end up with things that I don’t have time to work in. Like the biased processing of information on whether one’s cultural adversaries process political information in a biased fashion. And the role curiosity can play in buffering the magnification of biased information processing associated with greater cognitive proficiency.

I’m sure many of you have experienced this sort of frustration, too.

Well, here’s how I plan to overcome this obstacle.  Likely you’ve seen salespersons at retail outlets wearing colorful “Ask me about . . .” buttons to promote prospective buyers’ awareness of and interest in some new product or service. 

So why shouldn’t academics do the same thing?

Consider:

 

I won’t be wearing these “buttons”—I didn’t have time to make them  before I left home.   But I will insert them into my slides at the point at which I allude to the relevant studies.  Then, I figure, someone—his or her open-minded curiosity aroused-- will surely “ask me!” about these ideas in the Q&A!

See how knowing about the science of science communication helps to promote effective communication of scientific data?

I'll write  back tomorrow to report how effective this device was

Update on Friday, January 12, 2018 at 6:32AM by Registered CommenterDan Kahan

The buttons didn't really work--they provoked appreciative howls of laughter but didn't "nudge" anyone toward the desired questions. 

Oh, well!

Article originally appeared on cultural cognition project (http://www.culturalcognition.net/).
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