Blog Archive

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wonderfully humorous article on conspiracist thinking in climate science denial circles by Lewandowsky et al., doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073

Frontiers in Psychology 4(73) 2013; doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073

Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation

  • 1Psychology, University of Western Australia, Australia
  • 2Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland, Australia
  • 3Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 4 Climate Realities Research, Australia

Conspiracist ideation has been repeatedly implicated in the rejection of scientific propositions, although empirical evidence to date has been sparse. A recent study involving visitors to climate blogs found that conspiracist ideation was associated with the rejection of climate science and the rejection of other scientific propositions such as the link between lung cancer and smoking, and between HIV and AIDS (Lewandowsky, Oberauer & Gignac, in press; LOG12 from here on). This article analyzes the response of the climate blogosphere to the publication of LOG12. We identify and trace the hypotheses that emerged in response to LOG12 and that questioned the validity of the paper's conclusions. Using established criteria to identify conspiracist ideation, we show that many of the hypotheses exhibited conspiratorial content and counterfactual thinking. For example, whereas hypotheses were initially narrowly focused on LOG12, some ultimately grew in scope to include actors beyond the authors of LOG12, such as university executives, a media organization, and the Australian government. The overall pattern of the blogosphere's response to LOG12 illustrates the possible role of conspiracist ideation in the rejection of science, although alternative scholarly interpretations may be advanced in the future.

Provisional pdf file of complete article at link above.

Climate science heroes John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky on the right in the photo below (Kevin Judd and Matt Hipsey on the left):

No comments: