Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2816803
 


 



Science Curiosity and Political Information Processing


Dan M. Kahan


Yale University - Law School

Asheley R Landrum


Annenberg Public Policy Center

Katie Carpenter


Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School

Laura Helft


Howard Hughes Medical Institute - Tangled Bank Studios

Kathleen Hall Jamieson


University of Pennsylvania

August 1, 2016

Advances in Political Psychology, Forthcoming
Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 561

Abstract:     
This paper describes evidence suggesting that science curiosity counteracts politically biased information processing. This finding is in tension with two bodies of research. The first casts doubt on the existence of “curiosity” as a measurable disposition. The other suggests that individual differences in cognition related to science comprehension - of which science curiosity, if it exists, would presumably be one - do not mitigate politically biased information processing but instead aggravate it. The paper describes the scale-development strategy employed to overcome the problems associated with measuring science curiosity. It also reports data, observational and experimental, showing that science curiosity promotes open-minded engagement with information that is contrary to individuals’ political predispositions. We conclude by identifying a series of concrete research questions posed by these results.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

Keywords: politically motivated reasoning, curiosity, science communication, risk perception


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Date posted: August 2, 2016 ; Last revised: October 7, 2016

Suggested Citation

Kahan, Dan M. and Landrum, Asheley R and Carpenter, Katie and Helft, Laura and Jamieson, Kathleen Hall, Science Curiosity and Political Information Processing (August 1, 2016). Advances in Political Psychology, Forthcoming; Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 561. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2816803

Contact Information

Dan M. Kahan (Contact Author)
Yale University - Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.culturalcognition.net/kahan

Asheley R Landrum
Annenberg Public Policy Center ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
HOME PAGE: http://asheleylandrum.com
Katie Carpenter
Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School ( email )
127 Wall St
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
Laura Helft
Howard Hughes Medical Institute - Tangled Bank Studios ( email )
4000 Jones Bridge Road
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-6789
United States
Kathleen Hall Jamieson
University of Pennsylvania ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
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