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Study: Liberals Anti-Science When It Disagrees With Them

By    |   Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 07:14 PM

A study from Ohio State University researchers Erik Nesbit, R. Kelly Garrett and Kathryn Cooper entitled, "The Partisan Brain: How Dissonant Science Messages Lead Conservatives and Liberals to (Dis) Trust Science," to be published in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science next month, found that liberals don't like science any more than conservatives whenever science disagrees with them, the Christian Post reports.

"We examined audience reactions to both conservative-dissonant and liberal-dissonant science messages and consequences for trust in the scientific community. Our results suggest liberals and conservatives alike react negatively to dissonant science communication, resulting in diminished trust of the scientific community," the researchers concluded.

Using 1,518 adults, the researchers divided them into three groups. One group, conservatives, was asked questions about scientific research on climate change and evolution that clashed with their political leanings. The second group, identified as liberals, were asked similar questions on fracking and nuclear power that went against standard liberal political beliefs. The third group was asked more politically neutral questions.

"Both liberals and conservatives were less likely to trust the scientific results in the groups where those results were out of sync with their own ideology," the Post reported.

While conservatives generally have been considered to be less likely, especially by liberals, to accept findings of science which run counter to their own political prejudices, the Christian Post noted, "The findings challenge previous research reporting that the brains of conservatives are different than the brains of liberals and are fundamentally less capable of rationally processing scientific evidence."

"There has been deepening concern about political polarization in public attitudes toward the scientific community. The 'intrinsic thesis' attributes this polarization to psychological deficiencies among conservatives as compared to liberals," the researchers state, noting that their findings "link to the larger debate about political polarization of science and implications for science communicators."

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A study from Ohio State University researchers Erik Nesbit, R. Kelly Garrett and Kathryn Cooper entitled, "The Partisan Brain: How Dissonant Science Messages Lead Conservatives and Liberals to (Dis) Trust Science," to be published in...
liberals, conservatives, science, bias, study
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2015-14-26
Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 07:14 PM
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