Science comprehension without curiosity is no virtue, and curiosity without comprehension no vice
Monday February 12, 2018 (3:30 PM – 5:00 PM)
Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law & Professor of Psychology
It has been assumed (very reasonably) for many years that the quality of enlightened self-government demands a science-literate citizenry. Recent research, however, has shown that all manner of reasoning proficiency—from cognitive reflection to numeracy to actively open-minded thinking—magnifies politically motivated reasoning and hence political polarization on policy-relevant science. The one science-comprehension-related disposition that defies this pattern is science curiosity, which has been shown to make citizens more amenable to engaging with evidence that challenges their political predispositions. The presentation will review the relevant research and offer conjectures on their significance, both theoretical and practical.