that yale paper

Motivated numeracy and enlightened self-government

Kahan, Peters, Dawson, Slovic

Yale Law Journal working paper 116

why does public conflict over societal risks persist in the face of compelling and widely accessible scientific evidence? the ‘identity-protective cognition thesis’ – treats cultural conflict as disabling the faculties that members of the public use to make sense of decision-relevant science. more numerate subjects use their quantitative reasoning capacity selectively to conform their interpretation of the data with the result most consistent with their political outlooks.


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