Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government.
"Why does public conflict over societal risks persist in the face of compelling and widely accessible scientific evidence? We conducted an experiment to probe two alternative answers: the “Science Comprehension Thesis” (SCT), which identifies defects in the public’s knowledge and reasoning capacities as the source of such controversies; and the “Identity-protective Cognition Thesis” (ICT) which treats cultural conflict as disabling the faculties that members of the public use to make sense of decision-relevant science. [more inside]
posted by escabeche
on Sep 5, 2013 -
Anger, Politics and the Wisdom of Uncertainty
- "If there's somebody or even some institution to blame, it turns out people are much more likely to get angry... anger tends to inspire individuals to engage in more political activities than they would otherwise... Without someone to blame, respondents mostly just grow fearful and anxious... A particular danger of anger seems to be closed-mindedness. Research finds that when citizens get angry, they close themselves off to alternative views and redouble their sense of conviction in their existing views. Fear and anxiety, on the other hand, seem to promote openness to alternative viewpoints and a willingness to compromise." (via
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on May 18, 2011 -
Rethinking Public Opinion
- the immense importance of public opinion polling in American politics, and the under-reported problems at the heart of the enterprise, combine to call for a serious critique of the polling industry, its assumptions, and its method
posted by Gyan
on Nov 8, 2008 -
Diversity counterproductive to "social capital?"
James Wilson's article in Commentary magazine talks about Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam's essay recently published in Scandinavian Political Studies. In the essay, Putnam publicizes the findings of his research, conducted in rural districts, towns, and cities, whose conclusion establishes that diverse neighborhoods show less "social capital" because ethnically diverse residents seem to distrust each other. [more inside]
posted by gregb1007
on Nov 2, 2007 -
Watch political ideologies emerge and shift over hundreds of years.
ANIMATE is an amazing Java app that lets you track graphically
the ideological position of all the representatives to the US Congress, European Parliament, or the UN over every roll call vote in history. The really interesting part is that the application uses DW-NOMINATE data that maps the ideology of representatives
, and is pretty good at predicting voting patterns. Voteworld
is a related Java application that is a little less dramatic, but allows you to really dig into the data (to access DW-NOMINATE data in Voteworld, click the little orange sphere icon in the application).
On the US side:"There are two major lessons to take away from ANIMATE. First, over time, you see less and less motion of individual legislators, particularly after the Civil War. This shows the stabilization of the American political system. Second, after the Civil War you will see the major party clusters growing further apart until the turn of the century, then come together and overlap, and beginning in the 1970s draw apart again. That is, throughout most of the twentieth century, political divisions blurred but in the last quarter one sees the polarization of American politics."
posted by blahblahblah
on May 31, 2006 -
Bush Like Me: Ten weeks undercover in the grass roots of the Republican Party: As a professional misanthrope, I believe that if you are going to hate a person, you ought to do it properly. You should go and live in his shoes for a while and see at the end of it how much you hate yourself.
This was what I was doing down in Florida. The real challenge wasn't just trying to understand these Republicans. It was to become the best Republican I could be.
posted by GriffX
on Oct 15, 2004 -