Global Warming: Man or Myth?

Scientists can also wear their citizen hats

Archive for May 24th, 2010

Truth is in the Bias of the Beholder

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There are many of us out there banging away at the blogs and publishing Web sites with the logic that presenting factual information should sway skeptics toward the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are causing most of the modern day global warming.  I even wrote a lengthy blog post filled with tips to become a better science communicator. Unfortunately, the people we are trying to reach may have bias that impedes their ability to consider all the relevant information and also their ability to use proper reasoning strategies.  (In January 2010, I posted How to Talk to a Conservative to try to inform those with political bias why climate change was important to address.)

So what does that mean for those of us involved in the climate change information campaign?  It means that we need to make efforts to understand what causes bias and then use proper strategies to remove that bias (known as debiasing).  Fortunately, and a hat tip to Hank Roberts for finding this paper, Schwartz, et al. (2007) describes the role of metacognitive experiences in judgment and decision making and also the effectiveness of various debiasing strategies and public information campaigns.

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Written by Scott Mandia

May 24, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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