follow CCP

Recent blog entries
popular papers

Science Curiosity and Political Information Processing

What Is the "Science of Science Communication"?

Climate-Science Communication and the Measurement Problem

Ideology, Motivated Cognition, and Cognitive Reflection: An Experimental Study

'Ideology' or 'Situation Sense'? An Experimental Investigation of Motivated Reasoning and Professional Judgment

A Risky Science Communication Environment for Vaccines

Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government

Making Climate Science Communication Evidence-based—All the Way Down 

Neutral Principles, Motivated Cognition, and Some Problems for Constitutional Law 

Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus

The Tragedy of the Risk-Perception Commons: Science Literacy and Climate Change

"They Saw a Protest": Cognitive Illiberalism and the Speech-Conduct Distinction 

Geoengineering and the Science Communication Environment: a Cross-Cultural Experiment

Fixing the Communications Failure

Why We Are Poles Apart on Climate Change

The Cognitively Illiberal State 

Who Fears the HPV Vaccine, Who Doesn't, and Why? An Experimental Study

Cultural Cognition of the Risks and Benefits of Nanotechnology

Whose Eyes Are You Going to Believe? An Empirical Examination of Scott v. Harris

Cultural Cognition and Public Policy

Culture, Cognition, and Consent: Who Perceives What, and Why, in "Acquaintance Rape" Cases

Culture and Identity-Protective Cognition: Explaining the White Male Effect

Fear of Democracy: A Cultural Evaluation of Sunstein on Risk

Cultural Cognition as a Conception of the Cultural Theory of Risk

« Interesting talk coming up today -- populist modes of presidential nomination & ascension of fascist populism | Main | WSMD? JA! Two trends in 1--nuclear power risk perception »

WSMD? JA! Political orientation, religiosity & vaccine-risk perceptions

This is approximately the 417,522nd episode in the insanely popular CCP series, "Wanna see more data? Just ask!," the game in which commentators compete for world-wide recognition and fame by proposing amazingly clever hypotheses that can be tested by re-analyzing data collected in one or another CCP study. For "WSMD?, JA!" rules and conditions (including the mandatory release from defamation claims), click here.

Inspired by "yesterday's"™ post on how  the Ordinary Science Intelligence (OSI) assessment relates to nuclear power risk perceptions, @Bjarke asked: 


I solicited hypotheses and got one from @Colin--


--and another from @Bjarke:

So what do we find?

Consider first how things look for ideology and religiosity in relation to the"Industrial Strength Risk Perception Measure" (using locally weighted regression):

Very similar impacts overall, with ideology seeming to exert a bigger and more reliable effect.

Now consider these effects as they interact with OSI:

Basically same story: both matter, but the impact is slightly bigger for OSI & ideology.

@Bjarke seems to have predicted these results with remarkable precision.  I think he should be declared the winner of this WSMD? JA! episode, with @Colin earning an honorable mention for a plausible conjecture that sharpened subsequent empirical testing.

Sound right to you?

BTW if you want to see more on vaccine risk perceptions, check out the CCP report,  Vaccine Risk Perceptions and Ad Hoc Risk Communication: An Empirical Assessment.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (3)

I think that the above analysis needs to take into account the fact that there really is a "greater public good" element to public health vaccine policy. For an individual family it is hypothetically possible to "hide in the herd" and be the one self-centered family that does not get immunized and also keeps risks of contracting the disease low. It helps to have good health insurance if things go awry.

The downfall of this is that that family is likely to have tribal affiliations that mean that too many of their friends would try the same thing, leading to a subpopulation that falls below herd immunity levels and is thus likely to form a receptive pocket for the disease. This effect then endangers all members of that group and forms a base from which the disease can then spread into the general population.

Any society that is interested in overall public health needs to limit and/or contain the negative effects of such subgroups.

April 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGaythia Weis

For another thesis to test predictions on, how about the level of concern about AI/machine learning? No widely known ideological positions, so it would be interesting to see who can predict the outcome.

April 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRoss Hartshorn

@Ross--I have some data on AI. what would you predict? Particuarly if one assumes political outlooks don't generate insight here. Or maybe you wouldn't assume that.

April 18, 2018 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>