rvenkat + cultural_cognition   70

They saw a game; a case study
When the Dartmouth football team played Princeton in 1951, much controversy was generated over what actually took place during the game. Basically, there was disagreement between the two schools as to what had happened during the game. A questionnaire designed to get reactions to the game and to learn something of the climate of opinion was administered at each school and the same motion picture of the game was shown to a sample of undergraduate at each school, followed by another questionnnaire. Results indicate that the "game" was actually many different games and that each version of the events that transpired was just as "real" to a particular person as other versions were to other people.

groups  judgment_decision-making  collective_cognition  cultural_cognition  dmce  teaching  via:nyhan 
november 2018 by rvenkat
The Oxford Handbook of the Science of Science Communication - Kathleen Hall Jamieson; Dan Kahan; Dietram A. Scheufele - Oxford University Press
The proposal to vaccinate adolescent girls against the human papilloma virus ignited political controversy, as did the advent of fracking and a host of other emerging technologies. These disputes attest to the persistent gap between expert and public perceptions. Complicating the communication of sound science and the debates that surround the societal applications of that science is a changing media environment in which misinformation can elicit belief without corrective context and likeminded individuals are prone to seek ideologically comforting information within their own self-constructed media enclaves.

Drawing on the expertise of leading science communication scholars from six countries, The Oxford Handbook of the Science of Science Communication not only charts the media landscape - from news and entertainment to blogs and films - but also examines the powers and perils of human biases - from the disposition to seek confirming evidence to the inclination to overweight endpoints in a trend line. In the process, it draws together the best available social science on ways to communicate science while also minimizing the pernicious effects of human bias.

The Handbook adds case studies exploring instances in which communication undercut or facilitated the access to scientific evidence. The range of topics addressed is wide, from genetically engineered organisms and nanotechnology to vaccination controversies and climate change. Also unique to this book is a focus on the complexities of involving the public in decision making about the uses of science, the regulations that should govern its application, and the ethical boundaries within which science should operate. The Handbook is an invaluable resource for researchers in the communication fields, particularly in science and health communication, as well as to scholars involved in research on scientific topics susceptible to distortion in partisan debate.
cultural_cognition  communication  social_construction_of_ignorance  social_construction_of_knowledge  sociology_of_science  dan.kahan  book 
november 2018 by rvenkat
SocArXiv Papers | Exposure to Opposing Views can Increase Political Polarization: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment on Social Media
There is mounting concern that social media sites contribute to political polarization by creating ``echo chambers" that insulate people from opposing views about current events. We surveyed a large sample of Democrats and Republicans who visit Twitter at least three times each week about a range of social policy issues. One week later, we randomly assigned respondents to a treatment condition in which they were offered financial incentives to follow a Twitter bot for one month that exposed them to messages produced by elected officials, organizations, and other opinion leaders with opposing political ideologies. Respondents were re-surveyed at the end of the month to measure the effect of this treatment, and at regular intervals throughout the study period to monitor treatment compliance. We find that Republicans who followed a liberal Twitter bot became substantially more conservative post-treatment, and Democrats who followed a conservative Twitter bot became slightly more liberal post-treatment. These findings have important implications for the interdisciplinary literature on political polarization as well as the emerging field of computational social science.
political_psychology  cultural_cognition  bias  public_opinion  opinion_dynamics  dmce  teaching  via:nyhan 
march 2018 by rvenkat
Are Toxic Political Conversations Changing How We Feel about Objective Truth? - Scientific American
-- Bad headline writing, overly simplistic essay. Surely, a longer essay could have done better at conveying what the authors couldn't...
political_psychology  cultural_cognition  dmce  teaching  via:nyhan 
february 2018 by rvenkat
The Role of Anger in the Biased Assimilation of Political Information - Suhay - 2018 - Political Psychology - Wiley Online Library
Political psychologists have established that politically motivated reasoning is a common phenomenon; however, the field knows comparatively less about the psychological mechanisms that drive it. Drawing on advances in the understanding of the relevance of emotion to political reasoning and behavior, we argue that anger likely plays a major role in motivating individuals to engage in the biased assimilation of political information—an evaluative bias in favor of information that bolsters one's views and against information that undercuts them. We test this proposition with two online studies, the second of which includes a quasi-representative sample of Americans. The studies support our expectations. Individuals felt more negative emotions toward arguments that undermined their attitudes and positive emotions toward arguments that confirmed them; however, anger was nearly alone in fueling biased reactions to issue arguments.
political_psychology  cultural_cognition  dmce  teaching  via:nyhan 
january 2018 by rvenkat
The New Conspiracists | Dissent Magazine
--misleading title, the article is more about use of disinformation, conspiratorial factoids with the dismantling of democratic institutions and administrative state in mind.
dissent_mag  administrative_state  institutions  conspiracy_theories  epidemiology_of_representations  political_psychology  cultural_cognition  dmce  networks  teaching  ? 
january 2018 by rvenkat
On the Dynamics of Ideological Identification: The Puzzle of Liberal Identification Decline* | Political Science Research and Methods | Cambridge Core
Our focus is a puzzle: that ideological identification as “liberal” is in serious decline in the United States, but at the same time support for liberal policies and for the political party of liberalism is not. We aim to understand this divorce in “liberal” in name and “liberal” in policy by investigating how particular symbols rise and fall as associations with the ideological labels “liberal” and “conservative.” We produce three kinds of evidence to shed light on this macro-level puzzle. First, we explore the words associated with “liberal” and “conservative” over time. Then we take up a group conception by examining the changing correlations between affect toward “liberals” and affect toward other groups. Finally, we consider the changing policy correlates of identification.


I am curious about the evolution of *neoliberal* as an expletive.
norms  dynamics  political_science  ideology  conservatism  liberalism  public_opinion  us_politics  via:nyhan  linguistics  evolution  cultural_cognition 
december 2017 by rvenkat
Beyond Misinformation: Understanding and Coping with the “Post-Truth” Era
The terms “post-truth” and “fake news” have become increasingly prevalent in public discourse over the last year. This article explores the growing abundance of misinformation, how it influences people, and how to counter it. We examine the ways in which misinformation can have an adverse impact on society. We summarize how people respond to corrections of misinformation, and what kinds of corrections are most effective. We argue that to be effective, scientific research into misinformation must be considered within a larger political, technological, and societal context. The post-truth world emerged as a result of societal mega-trends such as a decline in social capital, growing economic inequality, increased polarization, declining trust in science, and an increasingly fractionated media landscape. We suggest that responses to this malaise must involve technological solutions incorporating psychological principles, an interdisciplinary approach that we describe as “technocognition.” We outline a number of recommendations to counter misinformation in a post-truth world.
political_psychology  misinformation  disinformation  fact_checking  cultural_cognition  dmce  teaching 
december 2017 by rvenkat
Complex Thinking as a Result of Incongruent Information ExposureAmerican Politics Research - Cengiz Erisen, Dave Redlawsk, Elif Erisen, 2017
In this article, we explore whether incongruent information influences what people recall to mind about a presidential candidate’s policy statements. We investigate whether the volume of people’s political thoughts, their ability to produce arguments, the affective valence of these thoughts, and their integrative complexity are influenced by the congruency between new political information and prior political convictions. We conducted an experiment via MTurk manipulating the congruency of information with respect to ideology. Our results show that incongruency significantly alters how people think about politics. Incongruent information increases integrative complexity of the opposing thoughts, becomes more voluminous, and includes more rationales. Moreover, these defensive thoughts are significantly more negative and less positive about the incongruent information. Parallel to what studies on motivated reasoning demonstrated, we also find that politically knowledgeable people in particular seem to strengthen their thoughts’ cognitive structure while defending their priors against information counter to their political views. We further discuss the general effects of these results and the importance of challenges to existing beliefs in generating complex thought systems.

-- can these domain specific findings generalize well?
public_opinion  political_psychology  cultural_cognition  ideology  heuristics  dmce  teaching  amazon_turk  online_experiments  via:nyhan 
november 2017 by rvenkat
Researcher Bias and Influence: How Do Different Sources of Policy Analysis Affect Policy Preferences? by Grant Jacobsen :: SSRN
Analyses of policy options are often unavailable or only available from think tanks that may have political biases. This paper experimentally examines how voters respond to policy analysis and how the response differs when a nonpartisan, liberal, or conservative organization produces the analysis. Partisan organizations are effective at influencing individuals that share their ideology, but individuals collectively are most responsive to analysis produced by nonpartisan organizations. This pattern holds consistently across several areas of policy. The results suggest that increasing the availability of nonpartisan analysis would increase the diffusion of information into the public and reduce political polarization.
elite_opinion  public_opinion  contagion  think_tank  institutions  social_epistemology  cultural_cognition  political_psychology  polarization  democracy  via:nyhan 
october 2017 by rvenkat
Rumor Has It: The Adoption of Unverified Information in Conflict Zones | International Studies Quarterly | Oxford Academic
Rumors run rife in areas affected by political instability and conflict. Their adoption plays a key role in igniting many forms of violence, including riots, ethnic conflict, genocide, and war. While unverified at the time of transmission, some rumors are widely treated as truth, while others are dismissed as implausible or false. What factors lead individuals to embrace rumors and other forms of unverified information? This article presents a new theoretical framework for understanding individual receptivity to rumors and tests it using original survey data gathered in insurgency-affected areas of Thailand and the Philippines. We find wide variation in rumor adoption, and argue that three factors drive individuals to embrace rumors: worldview, threat perception, and prior exposure. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we find no evidence that commonly cited factors—including education, income, age, and gender—determine individual receptivity to rumors. We also explore the implications of belief in rumors on conflict dynamics. We find that greater receptivity to rumors correlates with the belief that ongoing conflict is intractable. This suggests that rumors can not only help spark political violence, but also impede its resolution. Our findings shed light on the complex interaction between worldview and unverified information in shaping popular beliefs—and through them, political contention and competition—in conflict areas and beyond.
public_opinion  common_knowledge  ?  conspiracy_theories  cultural_cognition  dmce  teaching  via:nyhan  models_of_behavior 
october 2017 by rvenkat
Epistemic beliefs’ role in promoting misperceptions and conspiracist ideation
Widespread misperceptions undermine citizens’ decision-making ability. Conclusions based on falsehoods and conspiracy theories are by definition flawed. This article demonstrates that individuals’ epistemic beliefs–beliefs about the nature of knowledge and how one comes to know–have important implications for perception accuracy. The present study uses a series of large, nationally representative surveys of the U.S. population to produce valid and reliable measures of three aspects of epistemic beliefs: reliance on intuition for factual beliefs (Faith in Intuition for facts), importance of consistency between empirical evidence and beliefs (Need for evidence), and conviction that “facts” are politically constructed (Truth is political). Analyses confirm that these factors complement established predictors of misperception, substantively increasing our ability to explain both individuals’ propensity to engage in conspiracist ideation, and their willingness to embrace falsehoods about high-profile scientific and political issues. Individuals who view reality as a political construct are significantly more likely to embrace falsehoods, whereas those who believe that their conclusions must hew to available evidence tend to hold more accurate beliefs. Confidence in the ability to intuitively recognize truth is a uniquely important predictor of conspiracist ideation. Results suggest that efforts to counter misperceptions may be helped by promoting epistemic beliefs emphasizing the importance of evidence, cautious use of feelings, and trust that rigorous assessment by knowledgeable specialists is an effective guard against political manipulation.
cultural_cognition  political_psychology  misinformation  disinformation  conspiracy_theories  social_construction_of_ignorance  social_construction_of_knowledge  everything_is_political  dmce  teaching 
september 2017 by rvenkat
Science Denial Across the Political DivideSocial Psychological and Personality Science - Anthony N. Washburn, Linda J. Skitka, 2017
We tested whether conservatives and liberals are similarly or differentially likely to deny scientific claims that conflict with their preferred conclusions. Participants were randomly assigned to read about a study with correct results that were either consistent or inconsistent with their attitude about one of several issues (e.g., carbon emissions). Participants were asked to interpret numerical results and decide what the study concluded. After being informed of the correct interpretation, participants rated how much they agreed with, found knowledgeable, and trusted the researchers’ correct interpretation. Both liberals and conservatives engaged in motivated interpretation of study results and denied the correct interpretation of those results when that interpretation conflicted with their attitudes. Our study suggests that the same motivational processes underlie differences in the political priorities of those on the left and the right.
cultural_cognition  political_psychology  public_opinion  judgment_decision-making  dmce  teaching 
september 2017 by rvenkat
When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions | SpringerLink
An extensive literature addresses citizen ignorance, but very little research focuses on misperceptions. Can these false or unsubstantiated beliefs about politics be corrected? Previous studies have not tested the efficacy of corrections in a realistic format. We conducted four experiments in which subjects read mock news articles that included either a misleading claim from a politician, or a misleading claim and a correction. Results indicate that corrections frequently fail to reduce misperceptions among the targeted ideological group. We also document several instances of a “backfire effect” in which corrections actually increase misperceptions among the group in question.
political_psychology  cultural_cognition  misinformation  us_politics  trumpism  dmce  teaching  brendan.nyhan 
june 2017 by rvenkat
The Elusive Backfire Effect: Mass Attitudes' Steadfast Factual Adherence by Thomas Wood, Ethan Porter :: SSRN
Can citizens heed factual information, even when such information challenges their partisan and ideological attachments? The “backfire effect,” described by Nyhan and Reifler (2010), says no: rather than simply ignoring factual information, presenting respondents with facts can compound their ignorance. In their study, conservatives presented with factual information about the absence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq became more convinced that such weapons had been found. The present paper presents results from four experiments in which we enrolled more than 8,100 subjects and tested 36 issues of potential backfire. Across all experiments, we found only one issue capable of triggering backfire: whether WMD were found in Iraq in 2003. Even this limited case was susceptible to a survey item effect; when presented with a less elaborate survey item, we found no WMD factual backfire. Comparably elaborate items were incapable of instilling backfire in questions other than WMD. Evidence of factual backfire is far more tenuous than prior research suggests. By and large, citizens heed factual information, even when such information challenges their partisan and ideological commitments.

political_psychology  cultural_cognition  misinformation  us_politics  trumpism  dmce  teaching 
june 2017 by rvenkat
Examining the Mistrust of Science: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief | The National Academies Press
The Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable held a meeting on February 28 and March 1, 2017, to explore trends in public opinion of science, examine potential sources of mistrust, and consider ways that cross-sector collaboration between government, universities, and industry may improve public trust in science and scientific institutions in the future. This publication briefly summarizes the presentations and discussions from the meeting.
nap  report  public_perception_of_science  public_opinion  cultural_cognition  failure_of_meritocracy  distrust_of_elites  sociology_of_science  sociology_of_technology  dmce  teaching 
june 2017 by rvenkat
Moral Values and Trump Voting by Benjamin Enke :: SSRN
Much recent public debate has focused on understanding voters' motives behind the election of President Trump. According to recent psychological research, people's moral values exhibit heterogeneity in the extent to which they emphasize universally applicable moral principles relative to "groupish" or "tribalistic" values such as in-group loyalty, and anecdotal evidence suggests that Donald Trump attempted to tap into the latter values. This paper uses a survey dataset on more than 180,000 Americans to document that the relative importance of "groupish" values at the county level is strongly correlated with (i) vote shares for Trump in the Presidential Election, (ii) the increase in vote shares between Trump and past Republican candidates, and (iii) votes for Trump in the Republican Primaries. These correlations exploit variation across counties within states or commuting zones, and hold conditional on socioeconomic factors such as local income, unemployment, inequality, social mobility, industry structure, education, crime rates, and racism. By exploiting variation in the timing of the measurement of people's values, the analysis provides evidence that the results are not driven by reverse causality.
us_elections  moral_psychology  political_psychology  2016  cultural_cognition  dmce  teaching 
june 2017 by rvenkat
Sacred versus Pseudo-sacred Values: How People Cope with Taboo Trade-Offs
Psychologists have documented widespread public deference to "sacred values" that communities, formally or informally, exempt from tradeoffs with secular limits, like money. This work has, however, been largely confined to low-stakes settings. As the stakes rise, deference must decline because people can't write blank checks for every "sacred" cause. Shadow pricing is inevitable which sets the stage for political blame-games of varying sophistication. In a rational world, citizens would accept the necessity of such tradeoffs, but the attraction to moral absolutes is strong--perhaps even essential for social cohesion.
moral_psychology  taboo-_trade-offs  judgment_decision-making  cultural_cognition  philip.tetlock  dmce  teaching 
may 2017 by rvenkat
Numbers and the Making of Us — Caleb Everett | Harvard University Press
Carved into our past, woven into our present, numbers shape our perceptions of the world and of ourselves much more than we commonly think. Numbers and the Making of Us is a sweeping account of how numbers radically enhanced our species’ cognitive capabilities and sparked a revolution in human culture. Caleb Everett brings new insights in psychology, anthropology, primatology, linguistics, and other disciplines to bear in explaining the myriad human behaviors and modes of thought numbers have made possible, from enabling us to conceptualize time in new ways to facilitating the development of writing, agriculture, and other advances of civilization.

Number concepts are a human invention—a tool, much like the wheel, developed and refined over millennia. Numbers allow us to grasp quantities precisely, but they are not innate. Recent research confirms that most specific quantities are not perceived in the absence of a number system. In fact, without the use of numbers, we cannot precisely grasp quantities greater than three; our minds can only estimate beyond this surprisingly minuscule limit.

Everett examines the various types of numbers that have developed in different societies, showing how most number systems derived from anatomical factors such as the number of fingers on each hand. He details fascinating work with indigenous Amazonians who demonstrate that, unlike language, numbers are not a universal human endowment. Yet without numbers, the world as we know it would not exist.
book  mathematics  cultural_cognition  linguistics  anthropology  cognitive_science 
april 2017 by rvenkat
The Ideological Foundations of Affective Polarization in the U.S. Electorate - Apr 18, 2017
Democratic and Republican partisans dislike the opposing party and its leaders far more than in the past. However, recent studies have argued that the rise of affective polarization in the electorate does not reflect growing policy or ideological differences between supporters of the two parties. According to this view, though Democratic and Republican elites are sharply divided along ideological lines, differences between the policy preferences of rank-and-file partisans remain modest. In this article, we show that there is a close connection between ideological and affective polarization. We present evidence from American National Election Studies surveys that opinions on social welfare issues have become increasingly consistent and divided along party lines and that social welfare ideology is now strongly related to feelings about the opposing party and its leaders. In addition, we present results from a survey experiment showing that ideological distance strongly influences feelings toward opposing party candidates and the party as a whole.
cultural_cognition  political_psychology  ANES  partyism  us_politics  dmce  teaching  via:nyhan 
april 2017 by rvenkat
Liberals and conservatives are similarly motivated to avoid exposure to one another's opinions
Ideologically committed people are similarly motivated to avoid ideologically crosscutting information. Although some previous research has found that political conservatives may be more prone to selective exposure than liberals are, we find similar selective exposure motives on the political left and right across a variety of issues. The majority of people on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate willingly gave up a chance to win money to avoid hearing from the other side (Study 1). When thinking back to the 2012 U.S. Presidential election (Study 2), ahead to upcoming elections in the U.S. and Canada (Study 3), and about a range of other Culture War issues (Study 4), liberals and conservatives reported similar aversion toward learning about the views of their ideological opponents. Their lack of interest was not due to already being informed about the other side or attributable election fatigue. Rather, people on both sides indicated that they anticipated that hearing from the other side would induce cognitive dissonance (e.g., require effort, cause frustration) and undermine a sense of shared reality with the person expressing disparate views (e.g., damage the relationship; Study 5). A high-powered meta-analysis of our data sets (N = 2417) did not detect a difference in the intensity of liberals' (d = 0.63) and conservatives' (d = 0.58) desires to remain in their respective ideological bubbles.
cultural_cognition  political_psychology  polarization  meta-analysis  public_opinion  dmce  teaching  via:nyhan 
april 2017 by rvenkat
The Under-Appreciated Drive for Sense-Making by Nick Chater, George Loewenstein :: SSRN
This paper draws attention to a powerful human motive that has not yet been incorporated into economics: the desire to make sense of our immediate experience, our life, and our world. We propose that evolution has produced a ‘drive for sense-making’ which motivates people to gather, attend to, and process information in a fashion that augments, and complements, autonomous sense-making. A large fraction of autonomous cognitive processes are devoted to making sense of the information we acquire: and they do this by seeking simple descriptions of the world. In some situations, however, autonomous information processing alone is inadequate to transform disparate information into simple representations, in which case, we argue, the drive for sense-making directs our attention and can lead us to seek out additional information. We propose a theoretical model of sense-making and of how it is traded off against other goals. We show that the drive for sense-making can help to make sense of a wide range of disparate phenomena, including curiosity, boredom, ‘flow’, confirmation bias and information avoidance, aesthetics (both in art and in science), why we care about others’ beliefs, the importance of narrative and the role of ‘the good life’ in human decision making.
dmce  teaching  judgment_decision-making  cognitive_science  cultural_cognition 
march 2017 by rvenkat
Displacing Misinformation about Events: An Experimental Test of Causal Corrections | Journal of Experimental Political Science | Cambridge Core
Misinformation can be very difficult to correct and may have lasting effects even after it is discredited. One reason for this persistence is the manner in which people make causal inferences based on available information about a given event or outcome. As a result, false information may continue to influence beliefs and attitudes even after being debunked if it is not replaced by an alternate causal explanation. We test this hypothesis using an experimental paradigm adapted from the psychology literature on the continued influence effect and find that a causal explanation for an unexplained event is significantly more effective than a denial even when the denial is backed by unusually strong evidence. This result has significant implications for how to most effectively counter misinformation about controversial political events and outcomes.
political_psychology  causal_inference  cultural_cognition  brendan.nyhan  dmce  teaching  ? 
march 2017 by rvenkat
Processing political misinformation: comprehending the Trump phenomenon | Open Science
This study investigated the cognitive processing of true and false political information. Specifically, it examined the impact of source credibility on the assessment of veracity when information comes from a polarizing source (Experiment 1), and effectiveness of explanations when they come from one's own political party or an opposition party (Experiment 2). These experiments were conducted prior to the 2016 Presidential election. Participants rated their belief in factual and incorrect statements that President Trump made on the campaign trail; facts were subsequently affirmed and misinformation retracted. Participants then re-rated their belief immediately or after a delay. Experiment 1 found that (i) if information was attributed to Trump, Republican supporters of Trump believed it more than if it was presented without attribution, whereas the opposite was true for Democrats and (ii) although Trump supporters reduced their belief in misinformation items following a correction, they did not change their voting preferences. Experiment 2 revealed that the explanation's source had relatively little impact, and belief updating was more influenced by perceived credibility of the individual initially purporting the information. These findings suggest that people use political figures as a heuristic to guide evaluation of what is true or false, yet do not necessarily insist on veracity as a prerequisite for supporting political candidates.
political_psychology  cultural_cognition  social_construction_of_knowledge  heuristics  judgment_decision-making  dmce  teaching  via:nyhan 
march 2017 by rvenkat
Hegemony How-To | AK Press
Hegemony How-To is a practical guide to political struggle for a generation that is deeply ambivalent about questions of power, leadership, and strategy. Hopeful about the potential of today’s burgeoning movements, long-time grassroots organizer Jonathan Smucker nonetheless pulls no punches when confronting their internal dysfunction. Drawing from personal experience, he provides deep theoretical insight into the all-too-familiar radical tendency toward self-defeating insularity and paralyzing purism. At the same time, he offers tools to bridge the divide between anti-authoritarian values and hegemonic strategies, tools that might just help today’s movements to navigate their obstacles—and change the world.

Jonathan Smucker is the Director of Beyond the Choir and has worked for more than two decades as an organizer and strategist in grassroots social movements. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, The Sociological Quarterly, and elsewhere.

social_movements  democracy  collective_intention  cultural_cognition  sociology  via:zeynep 
february 2017 by rvenkat
The Anatomy of Antiliberalism — Stephen Holmes | Harvard University Press
Liberal: spoken in a certain tone, heard more and more often lately, it summons up permissiveness, materialism, rootlessness, skepticism, relativism run rampant. How has liberalism, the grand democratic ideal, come to be a dirty word? This book shows us what antiliberalism means in the modern world—where it comes from, whom it serves, and why it speaks with such a forceful, if ever-changing, voice.

In the past, in a battle pitting one offspring of eighteenth-century rationalism against another, Marxism has been liberalism’s best known and most vociferous opponent. But with the fall of Communism, the voices of ethnic particularism, communitarianism, and religious fundamentalism—a tradition Stephen Holmes traces to Joseph de Maistre—have become louder in rejection of the Enlightenment, failing to distinguish between the descendants of Karl Marx and Adam Smith. Holmes uses the tools of the political theorist and the intellectual historian to expose the philosophical underpinnings of antiliberalism in its nonmarxist guise. Examining the works of some of liberalism’s severest critics—including Maistre, Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, and Alasdair MacIntyre—Holmes provides, in effect, a reader’s guide to antiliberal culture, in all its colorful and often seductive, however nefarious, variety. As much a mindset as a theory, as much a sensibility as an argument, antiliberalism appears here in its diverse efforts to pit “spiritual truths” and “communal bonds” against a perceived cultural decay and moral disintegration. This corrosion of the social fabric—rather than the separation of powers, competitive elections, a free press, religious tolerance, public budgets, and judicial controls on the police—is what the antiliberal forces see as the core of liberal politics. Against this picture, Holmes outlines the classical liberal arguments most often misrepresented by the enemies of liberalism and most essential to the future of democracy.

Constructive as well as critical, this book helps us see what liberalism is and must be, and why it must and always will engender deep misgivings along with passionate commitment.
political_science  cultural_history  cultural_cognition  law  liberalism  us_conservative_thought  book 
february 2017 by rvenkat
Social Theory and Public Opinion | Annual Review of Sociology
Any study of public opinion must consider the ontological status of the public being represented. In this review, we outline several empirical problems in current public opinion research and illustrate them with a contemporary case: public opinion about same-sex marriage. We then briefly trace historical attempts to grapple with the public in public opinion and then present the most thoroughgoing critiques and defenses of polling. We detail four approaches to the ontology and epistemology of public opinion. We argue for a conceptualization of public opinion that relies upon polling techniques alongside other investigative modes but that understands public opinion as dynamic, reactive, and collective. Publics are shaped by techniques that represent them, including public opinion research.
public_opinion  cultural_cognition  political_science  sociology  opinion_formation  methods  critique  review  dmce  teaching 
february 2017 by rvenkat
Republican Men Say It’s a Better Time to Be a Woman Than a Man - The New York Times
-- leaving the comical characteristically NYTimes headline aside, there seem to be some fundamental social psychological process at work. Perception of equality seem to elicit a threat response in higher status social groups. I have no idea whether research literature documenting such processes exist.

-- Need to track down research literature....
gender  inequality  psychology  cultural_cognition  political_psychology  dmce  teaching 
january 2017 by rvenkat
The Real Story About Fake News Is Partisanship - The New York Times
-- researchers mentioned in the article seem convinced of media mediated polarization is a large factor in observed partisanship and emergence of partyism. Are there meta-studies that back this outsized influence? Are they based on mediation analysis? .... I am not convinced...
cultural_cognition  political_psychology  sociology  us_politics  united_states_of_america  judgment_decision-making  dmce  teaching  NYTimes 
january 2017 by rvenkat
Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda | The National Academies Press
Science and technology are embedded in virtually every aspect of modern life. As a result, people face an increasing need to integrate information from science with their personal values and other considerations as they make important life decisions about medical care, the safety of foods, what to do about climate change, and many other issues. Communicating science effectively, however, is a complex task and an acquired skill. Moreover, the approaches to communicating science that will be most effective for specific audiences and circumstances are not obvious. Fortunately, there is an expanding science base from diverse disciplines that can support science communicators in making these determinations.

Communicating Science Effectively offers a research agenda for science communicators and researchers seeking to apply this research and fill gaps in knowledge about how to communicate effectively about science, focusing in particular on issues that are contentious in the public sphere. To inform this research agenda, this publication identifies important influences – psychological, economic, political, social, cultural, and media-related – on how science related to such issues is understood, perceived, and used.
nap  report  science_as_a_social_process  science_journalism  communication  public_opinion  public_policy  social_construction_of_knowledge  cultural_cognition  for_friends 
december 2016 by rvenkat
Culture and Cognition - Annual Review of Sociology, 23(1):263
Recent work in cognitive psychology and social cognition bears heavily on concerns of sociologists of culture. Cognitive research confirms views of culture as fragmented; clarifies the roles of institutions and agency; and illuminates supra-individual aspects of culture. Individuals experience culture as disparate bits of information and as schematic structures that organize that information. Culture carried by institutions, networks, and social movements diffuses, activates, and selects among available schemata. Implications for the study of identity, collective memory, social classification, and logics of action are developed.
cultural_cognition  sociology  review  institutions  collective_cognition  teaching 
december 2016 by rvenkat
Twitter and Tear Gas | Yale University Press
A firsthand account and incisive analysis of modern protest, revealing internet-fueled social movements’ greatest strengths and frequent challenges

To understand a thwarted Turkish coup, an anti–Wall Street encampment, and a packed Tahrir Square, we must first comprehend the power and the weaknesses of using new technologies to mobilize large numbers of people. An incisive observer, writer, and participant in today’s social movements, Zeynep Tufekci explains in this accessible and compelling book the nuanced trajectories of modern protests—how they form, how they operate differently from past protests, and why they have difficulty persisting in their long-term quests for change.

Tufekci speaks from direct experience, combining on-the-ground interviews with insightful analysis. She describes how the internet helped the Zapatista uprisings in Mexico, the necessity of remote Twitter users to organize medical supplies during Arab Spring, the refusal to use bullhorns in the Occupy Movement that started in New York, and the empowering effect of tear gas in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. These details from life inside social movements complete a moving investigation of authority, technology, and culture—and offer essential insights into the future of governance.
zeynep.tufekci  book  democracy  freedom_of_speech  cultural_cognition  sociology  social_media  social_movements  collective_intention  collective_cognition  social_networks 
november 2016 by rvenkat
Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences | The National Academies Press
Science is a way of knowing about the world. At once a process, a product, and an institution, science enables people to both engage in the construction of new knowledge as well as use information to achieve desired ends. Access to science—whether using knowledge or creating it—necessitates some level of familiarity with the enterprise and practice of science: we refer to this as science literacy.

Science literacy is desirable not only for individuals, but also for the health and well- being of communities and society. More than just basic knowledge of science facts, contemporary definitions of science literacy have expanded to include understandings of scientific processes and practices, familiarity with how science and scientists work, a capacity to weigh and evaluate the products of science, and an ability to engage in civic decisions about the value of science. Although science literacy has traditionally been seen as the responsibility of individuals, individuals are nested within communities that are nested within societies—and, as a result, individual science literacy is limited or enhanced by the circumstances of that nesting.

Science Literacy studies the role of science literacy in public support of science. This report synthesizes the available research literature on science literacy, makes recommendations on the need to improve the understanding of science and scientific research in the United States, and considers the relationship between scientific literacy and support for and use of science and research.

--- ".....way of knowing about the world.....", looks like a popular meme in the United States.
cultural_cognition  public_perception_of_science  dmce  teaching  collective_cognition 
august 2016 by rvenkat

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