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  1. Fred Thornton
    August 22, 2022 @ 10:14 am

    For as smart as they are scientists can be so very dumb at times. That said, they’re usually smart enough to leave themselves an out should the final judgments of reality contradict some conclusion derived from a focus and scope to limited to reveal the truth. Those who did these studies are no exception. Quoting from the report “These findings should be interpreted with caution because scientific issue and polarization scores are perfectly correlated, and the possibility exists that other unmeasured factors represent the true causes of differences between issues.” (found at the end of the Results: Studies 1 and 2 section).

    Bravo. Allow me to illuminate the largest of the many points where the tests described would be utterly blind to discern the true and actual driving cause of the resistance they’re attempting to understand.

    The report speaks extensively of “overconfidence in personal knowledge,” and yet nowhere does this report address the nature of what causes overconfidence (in knowledge or anything else) in the first place. That singular omission cripples the remainder of the study by failing to recognize that citing overconfidence (as a one dimensional point-source driver) and knowledge in the same sentence is actually quite non sequitur… overconfidence is the result of a multi-dimensional emotional state where knowledge is simply factoids arranged in a (comparatively) simple linear form! The two issues exist in a quite separate state space from each other, as study after study has shown the two spaces have a very limited degree of affect on each other.

    IF (such a huge word!) those who call themselves “scientists” really want to know why they tend to be ignored they’ll need to leave their fact based comfort zone and venture out where the wild things live in the domains of full spectrum emotional interactions.

    They should start with the very name they call themselves by, scientist, and attempt to understand how just that one word, considered from the perspective of the emotional associations it has acquired across history, puts any and every thing they might offer to an instant judgment of voracity. From a perspective set aloof to judge only the public demeanor of the players involved it is not hard at all to see the “scientists” as just as overconfident in their knowledge as those this report attempts to belittle!

    Set the fact above beside the fact that human nature will cause people to see in others what they will not see about themselves and the answer to the implied question of these studies is obvious. The explanation is that those who are overconfident in their own knowledge as a way to compensate their own insecurities will, of course, assume that any who appear as overconfident as they are will be just as (secretly, secret even from themselves!) uncertain as they are… and who wants to risk their life and the lives of their families on the word of someone like ((me)) that?

    I’m very sure the statistics these studies generated are very accurate, and I’m even more certain they’re utterly impotent to empower even the slightest degree of improvement in the situation. Point of fact, from my perspective about all they’re really good for is reinforcing the scientists’ confidence in their own self appointed state and status as inherently superior specimens of the species.