A new study reveals that when it comes to scientific bias, that thinking and acceptance is a bipartisan issue. Ohio State University released new research that conveys both political conservatives and liberals showcase biases against scientific facts that do not support their political views. The study also shows that both the right and the left express distrust in science if it has to do with a politically-charged issues.
Study co-author Erik Nisbet wrote of the study, "One of the goals of this [research] was to dismiss the claims by various pundits and authors that somehow 'Republican brains' are hardwired more so than liberals to be biased toward scientific information and distrust scientists. There are definitely established psychological differences between conservatives and liberals, but nothing in the scientific literature has shown that one group is more likely to be more or less biased toward scientific information than the other." The study is based on questions asked of 1,500 people recruited from around the country.
They were asked to "evaluate a new educational website about science." That was a bit of a vague question because the researchers actually wanted to see how participants reacted to science that challenged both conservative and traditional liberal views, such as climate change or fracking. The participants were also questioned regarding their knowledge of science. One question asked was whether living near a nuclear power plant meant being exposed to 20 percent more radiation--a known myth. Both liberals and conservatives showed an equal bias against science, although the conservatives had four times more negative reactions to scientific pages that challenged their views.
Photo Credit: completecolorado.com