'Ordinary Science Intelligence': A Science-Comprehension Measure for Study of Risk and Science Communication, with Notes on Evolution and Climate Change
Journal of Risk Research, Forthcoming
The Cultural Cognition Project Working Paper No. 112
28 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2014 Last revised: 25 Jan 2017
Date Written: July 15, 2014
This paper describes the “Ordinary Science Intelligence” scale (OSI_2.0). Designed for use in the empirical study of risk perception and science communication, OSI_2.0 comprises items intended to measure a latent capacity to recognize and make use of valid scientific evidence in everyday decisionmaking. The derivation of the items, the relationship of them to the knowledge and skills OSI requires, and the psychometric properties of the scale are examined. Evidence of the external validity of OSI_2.0 is also presented. Finally, the utility of OSI_2.0 is briefly illustrated by using it to assess standard survey items on evolution and global warming: when administered to members of a U.S. general population sample, these items are more convincingly viewed as indicators of one or another latent cultural identity than as indicators of science comprehension.
Keywords: risk perception, science literacy, climate change, evolution
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