ananyo writes "An opinion piece in Nature by Dan Kahan, a professor of psychology at Yale Law School, suggests that the 'problem' with many people that reject the conclusions of climate science is not that they are 'irrational', as recent media reports suggest-but, if anything, that they are too rational.
As Kahan says in the piece: "If anything, social science suggests that citizens are culturally polarized because they are, in fact, too rational — at filtering out information that would drive a wedge between themselves and their peers.
For members of the public, being right or wrong about climate- change science will have no impact. Nothing they do as individual consumers or as individual voters will meaningfully affect the risks posed by climate change. Yet the impact of taking a position that conflicts with their cultural group could be disastrous.
Take a barber in a rural town in South Carolina. Is it a good idea for him to implore his customers to sign a petition urging Congress to take action on climate change? No. If he does, he will find himself out of a job, just as his former congressman, Bob Inglis, did when he himself proposed such action."
He suggests part of the solution would be for the media to avoid "catchy simplifications" in their reporting of psychological studies."
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