Dan Kahan's other experimental work over the last 8 years or so probably has further useful ideas. Adapting tests from the heuristics & biases literature (e.g. this old review article) may also work, depending on what you wish to accomplish.

There is a potential pitfall in directly testing people's general knowledge on contested issues. People who score poorly on test questions about issue X could simply complain that the test designer is the one who's wrong about issue X, not themselves, and unless you're absolutely sure of the correct answers to the r... (read more)

Great! Thanks. Kahan's papers are very useful. In one paper he and his colleagues ask not whether some policy-relevant claim X (such as whether climate change is caused by human activities) is true, but rather whether expert scientists generally agree that X is true, or generally agree that X is false, or are divided. The latter is much easier to establish (conveniently, the US National Academy of Sciences publishes 'expert consensus reports' from which Kahan's examples are taken). As expected, people's beliefs match their political opinions in a suspiciou... (read more)

Open thread, 18-24 August 2014

by David_Gerard 1 min read18th Aug 201481 comments


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