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Public Reception of Climate Science: Coherence, Reliability, and Independence

Hahn, U; Harris, AJ; Corner, A; (2016) Public Reception of Climate Science: Coherence, Reliability, and Independence. Topics in Cognitive Science , 8 (1) pp. 180-195. 10.1111/tops.12173.

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Abstract

Possible measures to mitigate climate change require global collective actions whose impacts will be felt by many, if not all. Implementing such actions requires successful communication of the reasons for them, and hence the underlying climate science, to a degree that far exceeds typical scientific issues which do not require large-scale societal response. Empirical studies have identified factors, such as the perceived level of consensus in scientific opinion and the perceived reliability of scientists, that can limit people's trust in science communicators and their subsequent acceptance of climate change claims. Little consideration has been given, however, to recent formal results within philosophy concerning the relationship between truth, the reliability of evidence sources, the coherence of multiple pieces of evidence/testimonies, and the impact of (non-)independence between sources of evidence. This study draws on these results to evaluate exactly what has (and, more important, has not yet) been established in the empirical literature about the factors that bias the public's reception of scientific communications about climate change.

Type: Article
Title: Public Reception of Climate Science: Coherence, Reliability, and Independence
Location: United States
DOI: 10.1111/tops.12173
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tops.12173
Language: English
Keywords: Bayesian inference, Coherence, Consensus, Source credibility, Testimony
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1492642
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