Semantic Apparatus – The nature and origins of political polarization over science

Cited by Lee Sonogan

Political polarization at its worst since the Civil War - USC News

Abstract by Roderik Rekker

People have a tendency to disregard information that contradicts their partisan or ideological identity. This inclination can become especially striking when citizens reject notions that scientists would consider “facts” in the light of overwhelming scientific evidence and consensus. The resulting polarization over science has reached alarming levels in recent years. This theoretical review conceptualizes political polarization over science and argues that it is driven by two interrelated processes. Through psychological science rejection, people can implicitly disregard scientific facts that are inconsistent with their political identity. Alternatively, citizens can engage in ideological science rejection by adhering to a political ideology that explicitly contests science. This contestation can in turn be subdivided into four levels of generalization: An ideology can dispute either specific scientific claims, distinct research fields, science in general, or the entire political system and elite. By proposing this interdisciplinary framework, this article aims to integrate insights from various disciplines.

Publication: Public Understanding of Science (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Pub Date: Feb 17, 2021 Doi:

Keywords: ideology, motivated reasoning, partisanship, polarization, science rejection (Plenty more sections and references in this research article)

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