We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Dan Kahan of Yale Law School discusses Cultural Cognition and the Challenge of Science Communication.
His lecture is basically about confirmation bias, which he discusses in terms of "cultural cognition."
While he acknowledges that at least some of what he terms "cultural" is in fact psychological (eg a person's fearfulness or curiosity about life) rather than groupthink, it is still an interesting approach to opinion formation.
I get the sense that he thinks people should believe what the experts say. I also think he has a slight case of Asperger's, which makes listening to him an interesting experience. As a Maggie's person, my tendency is to be skeptical about what experts say (which places me in his hierarchical, individualistic categories).
I find the term/phrase scientific consensus offensive. Richard Feynman defined what was required when presenting a scientific theory. Refer to his Caltech Convocation 1974 address on Cargo Cult Science. Scientific enquiry is open ended. Consensus is a political term used to describe public opinion or trends on current matters. That it was used in reference to the 'science' of climate warming/changing underscores the real political agenda of its proponents. Climatology is a fairly young science and could become important but it has been damaged by being taken over by Al Gore et al.
I'm watching this now, but already have serious disagreement with his initial model. (I'm sure he'd say I'm showing a confirmation bias!)
He says the prior risk perception is "stupid", and the revised risk perception is better or more educated.
But he presumes that the "new information" is in fact accurate and presented without bias. There are good reasons humans have developed scepticism, i.e., confirmation bias. New information needs to be ranked by reliability of the source, the inherent uncertainty around the data produced, etc.. His assumption that "experts" have no hidden agenda is absurdly naive, and I would say reflect his own confirmation biases.
Science, like any human endeavor, has problems with professional conflicts of interest, and I don't just mean scientist X used to work for Exxon-Mobil. Careers are made and broken on machivellian manipulation and management, even within the purity of university faculty and government research facilities.
Finally, I'd say his categories of people is deeply flawed. (Not the two axis, but his "experimental groups".) Hierarchical/individualistic and egalitarian/communitarian?
He characterizes them all screwy. Commerce is egalitarian. What could be more egalitarian than barter and contract? Egalitarian means people are on equal footing, and so should be responsible for themselves like every other individual. And what is this crap that individualists don't think guns are dangerous? Of course they are, or why else would I want to have firearms? It is their dangerousness that makes them useful. His whole spiel flows through his own cultural filters, and he doesn't seem to realize it.
I'm an egalitarian individualist. Which is why I don't have any respect for our political ruling class unless they earn it. And they haven't been interested in earning it for as long as I can remember.