In response to the scatter plots from "politicization of science Q&A" post, @thompn4 on twitter (optimal venue for in depth scholarly exchange) observed that it would be nice to have a three-dimensional graphic that combined partisanship, risk perception, and science comprehension (or perhaps two risk perceptions -- like nuclear and global warming -- along with science comprehension or partisanship) into one figure.
I supplied @thompn4 with data, and he came up with some interesting topographical plots.
But these are all 2 dimensional -- and so fail to achieve what I understand to be his original goal-- to have 3d representations of the raw data so that all the relevant comparisons could be in one figure and so there'd be no need to aggregate & split the data along one dimension (as the science comprehension plots do).
When I pressed him, he came up with a 3d version, but with only 2 dimensions of individual difference -- science comprehension & risk perception:
Really great, but I want what he asked for -- three graphic dimensions for three dimensions of individual difference.
I've been fumbling with 3d scatter plots. Here's ideology (x), risk perception (y), and science compression (z)-- with observations color-coded, as in 2d scatter plots, to denote perceived risk of global warming (blue = low to red = high):
Not great, but it gets at least a bit better when one rotates the axes counter-clockwise:
I suspect a topographical or wireframe will work better than a scatter plot -- but that's something beyond my present graphic capabilities.
In the end, too, the criteria for judging these 3d graphs, in my view, is whether they enable a curious, reflective person readily to discern the relevant information -- and in particular the existence of an important contrast. Being ornate & attention-grabbing are not really the point, in my view. So far not clear to me that anything really improves upon the original 2 graphic solution.
If anyone else wants to try, feel free. The data are here. Please do share your results -- you can email them to me or post them somewhere w/ URL I can link to.
1. The data are tab delimited.
2. Zconservrepub is a standardized sum of 7-point partyid & 5-point liberal-conservative ideology, valenced toward conservative/republican.
3. scicomp_i is score on a science-comprehension assessment (scored with item response theory; details here)
4.GWRISk & NUKERISK are "industrial strength risk perception measures" for "global warming" & "nuclear power. Each item is 0-7: 0 “no risk at all”; 1 “Very low risk”; 2 “Low risk”; 3 “Between low and moderate risk”; 4 “Moderate risk”; 5 “Between moderate and high risk”; 6 “High risk”; 7 “Very high risk”