Aren't you curious to know how Millennials rate in science curiosity?!
Monday, January 15, 2018 at 8:00AM
Dan Kahan

Okay—so it was so easy to pretrodict that Millennials would be more likely than other age cohorts to visit a zoo in the last yr.

Well, try these:

(1)  Which age cohort displays greatest level of science comprehension?

The answer is … the Millennials!

Stands to reason given how often they visit the zoo, right?

Actually the margin isn’t particularly big—less than a third of a standard-deviation separates the Millennials from the Silent Generation, whose members had the lowest OSI_2.0 score.

(2) Does the edge that the Millennials enjoy in OSI mean that they are more science curious (as measured by the SCS scale) than members of other generations?


Surprising?  Well, it shouldn’t be when we recall that Ordinary Science Intelligence is only modestly correlated with Science Curiosity. 

But maybe it should surprise us, given Millennials’ immersion in new communication technologies: they have a greater opportunity to form and nourish the desire to know how the technologies that surround them work....

Or maybe the immersion cuts the other way: due to the extraordinary advances in information technologies over the course of their adulthood,  “silent,” “Boomers” and GenX might have been expected to have a greater degree of awe than the Millennials, who’ve had that technology all around them their whole lives.

Well, "Everythig is obvious--once you know the answer," as they say.

Another thing to ponder  here is the platykurtic (low peak, fat tails) distribution for the Millennials’ responses to the OSI assessment. . . . How should that affect our inferences?

How about another:

Before you know the answer, try to guess this one: are Millennials more likely than are other age cohorts to accept that human beings have caused climate change? (Don’t Google to find out results from general public opinion pollsters).

Answer “tomorrow.”™

Article originally appeared on cultural cognition project (
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