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"Science curiosity" and "SCS", plus "Mobility and Stability hypotheses"--latest entries in Cultural Cognition Dictionary/Glossary (Whatever)

I know, I know -- the construction of this document has taken over this blog of late, but that's becasue the alternative is to grade 85 criminal law exams. . . . 

Science curiosity and “SCS.” Science curiosity is a general disposition that reflects the motivation to seek out and consume scientific information for personal pleasure.  Variance in this disposition across persons and groups is measured by the Science Curiosity Scale (“SCS”). Intended to facilitate research on engagement with science documentaries, SCS scores have also been shown to predict resistance to politically motivated reasoning, including Motivated System 2 Reasoning (“MS2R”) [Source: Kahan, Landrum et al., Advances in Pol. Psych., 38: 179-199 (2017). Added Jan. 2, 2018.].

* * *

The mobility and stability hypotheses. Competing conjectures about how individuals’ perceptions of risk and related facts can be expected to behave across different settings (e.g., the workplace vs. the home). The “stability hypothesis” predicts that “individuals will seek to homogenize their experience of social structure in different areas of their lives” in a manner that reflects individuals’ static cultural worldviews. The “mobility hypothesis,” in contrast, holds that individuals’ can be expected to form differing perceptions to risk as they move across social contexts, which themselves are understood to embody distinct, and often opposing, cultural worldviews: “according to this view, individuals may flit like butterflies from context to context, changing the nature of their arguments as they do so” [Source: Rayner, Cultural Theory and Risk Analysis in Social Theories of Risk (Krimsky & Golding eds.) 83-115 (1992), pp. 105-106. Added Jan. 2, 2018.]



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Reader Comments (5)


So, is the stability hypothesis a naming of the behavior whereby people exhibit very similar identity protection in survey responses, the voting booth, when accompanied by members of the same group, and when accompanied by members of other groups, even though the entire motivation for identity protection is derived from just one of these circumstances (when accompanied by members of the same group)?

How about:

Humans are the great social contextualisers. We respond to subtle environmental cues in the contextual surround and are sensitive to social flux and nuance. All of this means that the contextual features humans code into options may lack stability both for good reasons (the social world is not stable) and bad reasons (the cues are too many and varying to be coded consistently each time).

which is from

Of course, the very next section in that paper explains expressive rationality as deriving from symbolic utility, and in particular mentions voting. This seems to me to be having it both ways - we can explain contextual sensitivity has being a hallmark of human rationality (as above), and we can explain contextual insensitivity (due to symbolic utility) as being a hallmark of human rationality.

I'd like to know what you think the difference between rational and adaptive is when there is no visibility into their internal processes available, so judged based on external behavior only.

January 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan


Longitudinal and fMRI study!:

January 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Scientists still cool, whoever they are:

January 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Wood and Porter have a backfire update:

Note that this is the old paper we've discussed, just updated. Somewhere I have a pdf differ that I can use to figure out what changed. But, notably, the new version is 4 pages longer than the older version.

January 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

The newer (vs. older) version of Wood&Porter has 5 (vs. 4) studies, 52 (vs. 36) issues, 10100 (vs. 8100) subjects, and cites Dan (just once, though, but then doesn't list it in the References section).

The new 5th study supplements MTurk with Lucid:

Lucid draws from 30 separate survey recruitment firms, and through repeated interaction with survey respondents, allows experimental recruitment to match nationally representative survey margins.

With this result:

On average, Turk respondents are slightly more factually responsive, but these differences are insignificant at either end of the ideological spectrum (precisely where Nyhan and Reifler saw backfire in their 2010 paper.) Only among ideological moderates do we observe that opt-in respondents are meaningfully different than the nationally representative respondents.

It is largely rewritten, to the point where my pdf differ isn't very useful.

January 4, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

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