[Vision2020] Covid

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Sat Nov 28 21:31:12 PST 2020

Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett

We all are subject to confirmation bias and motivated reasoning filters
that with even the best intentions promotes ignoring or downplaying
information that contradicts our convictions.  What is especially
disturbing are the research findings demonstrating well educated and
quantitatively capable individuals will construct elaborate and apparently
plausible scenarios that explain the world to suit their bias in a manner
that appears clearly to ignore credible substantial evidence.   It is very
difficult to penetrate these motivated reasoning filters, when attempting
to persuade someone of high intelligence of a different point of view.
This limits the effectiveness of fact and logic based scientific arguments.

The following research from the Yale Cultural Cognition Project
(with others) is focused on public views on climate change, but the broad
implications may very well also apply to views on SARS CoV2 (COVID-19)?



The Tragedy of the Risk-Perception Commons: Culture Conflict, Rationality
Conflict, and Climate Change


The conventional explanation for controversy over climate change emphasizes
impediments to public understanding: Limited popular knowledge of science,
the inability of ordinary citizens to assess technical information, and the
resulting widespread use of unreliable cognitive heuristics to assess risk.
A large survey of U.S. adults (N = 1540) found little support for this
account. On the whole, the most scientifically literate and numerate
subjects were slightly less likely, not more, to see climate change as a
serious threat than the least scientifically literate and numerate ones.
More importantly, greater scientific literacy and numeracy were associated
with greater cultural polarization: Respondents predisposed by their values
to dismiss climate change evidence became more dismissive, and those
predisposed by their values to credit such evidence more concerned, as
science literacy and numeracy increased. We suggest that this evidence
reflects a conflict between two levels of rationality: The individual
level, which is characterized by citizens’ effective use of their knowledge
and reasoning capacities to form risk perceptions that express their
cultural commitments; and the collective level, which is characterized by
citizens’ failure to converge on the best available scientific evidence on
how to promote their common welfare. Dispelling this, “tragedy of the
risk-perception commons,” we argue, should be understood as the central aim
of the science of science communication.
On Thu, Nov 26, 2020 at 11:02 AM Roger Hayes
<rhayesmoscowid at gmail.com> wrote:

Responding to Dale Courtney's comments (11/25/20) "Questioning mask and
> COVID-19 narrative," I find it full of untruths and callousness. Firstly,
> pretending the COVID is nothing to concern ourselves about, tell that to
> the 260,000 Americans who have suffered and died of it. Secondly, you say
> that people choose not getting tested for the disease even when they have
> been exposed or are suffering "mild symptoms." That is the height of
> irresponsibility and selfishness. Thirdly, you cite an Annals of Internal
> Medicine study where you claim there is no significant benefit to wearing a
> mask. The study was about protection of the wearer, not about helping to
> prevent the spread of the virus. And it did find some small benefit to the
> wearer. So you are misleading the reader of your column. Lastly, you seem
> to be bragging about a "local congregation" holding maskless services for
> 1,100 since May. You exclaim, "No masks,  No hospitalizations, No deaths."
> How many people outside this congregation might they have infected? Way to
> love your neighbor Dale.
> Roger
> =======================================================
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