Scientific Skepticism Due to Prior Attitudes and Implicit Biases

by Jen Petrova

Why is it that certain people are skeptical about scientific facts and data? Are there any overlying trends that show that certain groups of people are more likely to be skeptical about climate change than others? Kraft, Lodge, and Taber (2015) found that religion is not the only factor that plays into climate change skepticism; political ideology and partisanship affect how people react to scientific facts as well. These authors came to the conclusion that conservatives are more likely than liberals to be scientifically skeptical due to their prior attitudes, affect-driven motivated reasoning, and biased attitude formation. Continue reading

Political ideology and views about climate change in the European Union

by Jake Kessler

The United States is divided over the existence of climate change. The conservative right-wing party in the U.S., the Republican party, is widely known for its anti-climate change beliefs. The Democratic Party, our left-wing liberal party, strongly believes in climate change and the need to tackle it. Does this type of relationship between political ideology and opinion on climate change exist elsewhere? Aaron et al (2016) looked at similar populations in Canada, Australia, and the European Union, and found similar divides in those countries between the left, and right wing- coalitions. They argue that the issue has been become politicized in much of the developed world. However, the United States remains an outlier due to the intensity of the divide. The authors attributed this to the greater degree of politicization in general versus other developed countries. Continue reading