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2017-10-11 17:45双语阅读 浏览:
Ask a left-wing Brit what they believe about the safety of nuclear power, and you can guess their answer. Ask a right-wing American about the risks posed by climate change, and you can also make a better guess than if you didn’t know their political affiliation. Issues like these feel like they should be informed by science, not our political tribes, but sadly, that’s not what happens.

Psychology has long shown that education and intelligence won’t stop your politics from shaping your broader worldview, even if those beliefs do not match the hard evidence. Instead, your ability to weigh up the facts may depend on a less well-recognised trait – curiosity.
心理学研究表明, 你的世界观会逐步形成你的政治立场,而且不容易受到你的教育程度和智商的左右,哪怕这些政治主张和既定事实严重不符。然而,好奇心这个平时容易忽略的特质却会帮助你重新评估这些事实。 [ 免费英语学习网站]

It is a mistake to think that you can somehow ‘correct’ people’s views on an issue by giving them more facts.
There is now a mountain of evidence to show that politics doesn’t just help predict people’s views on some scientific issues; it also affects how they interpret new information. This is why it is a mistake to think that you can somehow ‘correct’ people’s views on an issue by giving them more facts, since study after study has shown that people have a tendency to selectively reject facts that don’t fit with their existing views.
This leads to the odd situation that people who are most extreme in their anti-science views – for example skeptics of the risks of climate change – are more scientifically informed than those who hold anti-science views but less strongly.
People who have the facility for deeper thought about an issue can use those cognitive powers to justify what they already believe.
But smarter people shouldn’t be susceptible to prejudice swaying their opinions, right? Wrong. Other research shows that people with the most education, highest mathematical abilities, and the strongest tendencies to be reflective about their beliefs are the most likely to resist information which should contradict their prejudices. This undermines the simplistic assumption that prejudices are the result of too much gut instinct and not enough deep thought.
It’s a messy picture, and at first looks like a depressing one for those who care about science and reason. A glimmer of hope can be found in new research from a collaborative team of philosophers, film-makers and psychologists led by Dan Kahan of Yale University.
真是乱象一片,而且,第一眼看的时候让那些愿意相信科学和事实推理的人感到寒心。不过,最近有耶鲁大学的Dan Kahan 牵头,由心理学家、电影制片人、哲学家组成的一个联合小组就此问题进行了一项新研究,研究结果让我们看到了一丝曙光。

Kahan and his team were interested in politically biased information processing, but also in studying the audience for scientific documentaries and using this research to help film-makers. They developed two scales. The first measured a person’s scientific background. The second scale was  a person’s curiosity about scientific issues, not how much they already knew.
With the scientific knowledge scale the results were depressingly predictable. Higher levels of scientific education results in a greater polarization between the groups, not less.
But scientific curiosity showed a different pattern. Their opinions were at least heading in the same direction.
The team gave participants a choice of science stories, either in line with their existing beliefs, or surprising to them. Those participants who were high in scientific curiosity defied the predictions and selected stories which contradicted their existing beliefs.

So, curiosity might just save us from using science to confirm our identity as members of a political tribe.