Monday, January 25, 2010

N - Present information agreeably

People experience scientific debates as contests between warring cultural factions, and endorse whichever position reinforces their connection to other with whom they share important commitments, says an opinion piece in Nature (2010;463:296-7, 21 January). The process of "cultural cognition" accounts for this distinctive form of polarisation-–it also causes people to interpret new evidence in a biased way that reinforces their predispositions. "We need to larn more about how to present information in forms that are agreeable to culturally diverse groups, and how to structure debate so that it avoids cultural polarization," says Dan Kahan, a law professor.
Thanks to Margaret Cooter

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