Wednesday, April 25, 2012

62% Agree

62% of Americans agree there is solid evidence the earth is warming. (26% disagree, with 12 undecided). Of course, for something so obvious, you'd hope it would be more. But at least it's a majority.

White and black, men and women, college and non-college educated - the level of acceptance is pretty much the same (and a majority). The only exception is when it comes to political persuasion, with Republicans being less agreeable.

Graphic of poll results
One explanation for this comes from Chris Mooney, who suggests a link between voting intention and the way the brain processes information.

brain graphic
Apparently conservative voters, as the name might suggest, are less open to new ideas (including scientific discoveries) but also have a greater need for 'closure' - turning uncertainty into a firm belief.
Someone with a high need for closure tends to seize on a piece of information that dispels doubt or ambiguity, and then freeze, refusing to consider new information. Those who have this trait can also be expected to spend less time processing information than those who are driven by different motivations, such as achieving accuracy.
I think that not recognising the Earth's warming is a good example of this.

[Related link: Do you see what I see?]

No comments:

Get new posts by email