March 09, 2010
Putting So-Called "Deniers" In the Hot Seat
Seems it might be about as easy to convince someone global warming is fake by pointing to the serial nor'easters slamming the east coast as it is to persuade an individual that global warming is fact by placing them in a warm room, reports the NYT:
The study, by Jane Risen, a behavioral scientist at the University of Chicago, and Clayton Critcher, a marketing professor at the University of California, Berkeley, found that university students placed in a heated room expressed higher confidence that global warming was a proven fact than those placed in a neutral control room...
"These results suggest that the mere experience of heat influenced belief in global warming," the researchers wrote...
Liberals and conservatives were similarly influenced by the raised temperatures, and the effect was present even when attention was drawn to the temperature of the room.
Final words of wisdom to campaign organizers everywhere:
The study shows that people are susceptible to "visceral thinking," in which an individual experience of a particular state can alter judgment on a broader condition of the world, Dr. Risen said in an interview.
"Beliefs are not necessarily influenced by the things you would expect them to be," she said.