Monday, May 15, 2017

Pew study on liberal/conservative views on climate science

Continuing the last few posts, I do not dispute the findings of the studies in the New Scientist article. The meta-analysis of 41 studies admits that those tested were self-identified as liberal or conservative. While overall bias was about the same for both types, it also admitted that some methodological features moderated the overall bias, as well as it being modified by different political topics.

Using the topic of climate science as one topical example, this Pew study first of all divided up political affiliation into 4 categories: liberal Dems, conservative Reps, and moderate Dems and moderate Reps. This is more aligned with Lakoff that some people are biconceptual, meaning liberal on some issues and conservative on others. Even so, only 55% of liberal Dems think climate scientists use the best available scientific evidence to support the research. Granted it's the highest % in that category, but still indicates there's plenty of self-identified liberal Dems that are not that science-savvy.

There are also some stats on those with scientific knowledge. Dems with high science knowledge agree that the earth is warming due to human influence, see scientists as having a firm understanding of climate change, and trust those scientists about its cause. But Republicans with high science knowledge are no more or less likely to agree with those statements. Their ideology trumps science.

It's also interesting to see how scientists identify politically in this Pew study. What does this tell us?  

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