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Math & Politics don't mix
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Games Meister
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Oct 2, 2013, 12:48 PM
 
Science Confirms: Politics Wrecks Your Ability to Do Math | Mother Jones
the study finds that people who are otherwise very good at math may totally flunk a problem that they would otherwise probably be able to solve, simply because giving the right answer goes against their political beliefs.
The result? Survey respondents performed wildly differently on what was in essence the same basic problem, simply depending upon whether they had been told that it involved guns or whether they had been told that it involved a new skin cream. What's more, it turns out that highly numerate liberals and conservatives were even more—not less—susceptible to letting politics skew their reasoning than were those with less mathematical ability.
For study author Kahan, these results are a fairly strong refutation of what is called the "deficit model" in the field of science and technology studies—the idea that if people just had more knowledge, or more reasoning ability, then they would be better able to come to consensus with scientists and experts on issues like climate change, evolution, the safety of vaccines, and pretty much anything else involving science or data (for instance, whether concealed weapons bans work). Kahan's data suggest the opposite—that political biases skew our reasoning abilities, and this problem seems to be worse for people with advanced capacities like scientific literacy and numeracy. "If the people who have the greatest capacities are the ones most prone to this, that's reason to believe that the problem isn't some kind of deficit in comprehension," Kahan explained in an interview.
I, for one, welcome our future computer overlords.

(A specific scenario where I can see this applied it redistricting. No one can agree on it, but I'm sure a computer could do it quite well, though the results would likely look terrible to the human eye)
     
Clinically Insane
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Oct 2, 2013, 04:26 PM
 
Skin cream stats aren't widely published, gun stats are, and when a person who is political and familiar with gun statistics is shown what they believe to be a bogus stat, it triggers the "does not compute" response.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Games Meister
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Oct 2, 2013, 04:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Skin cream stats aren't widely published, gun stats are, and when a person who is political and familiar with gun statistics is shown what they believe to be a bogus stat, it triggers the "does not compute" response.
...
Most strikingly, highly numerate liberal Democrats did almost perfectly when the right answer was that the concealed weapons ban does indeed work to decrease crime (version C of the experiment)—an outcome that favors their pro-gun-control predilections. But they did much worse when the correct answer was that crime increases in cities that enact the ban (version D of the experiment).

The opposite was true for highly numerate conservative Republicans: They did just great when the right answer was that the ban didn't work (version D), but poorly when the right answer was that it did (version C).
     
Clinically Insane
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Oct 2, 2013, 04:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
...
Sorry, I wasn't clear. What I'm saying is there's been so much gun stat manipulation from both sides over the years, it's bound to pollute the sample. The people on one side embrace their favorite statistical outlets, while the other side does the same.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Games Meister
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Oct 2, 2013, 04:49 PM
 
I don't see how that'd be a factor here.
     
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Oct 3, 2013, 08:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Sorry, I wasn't clear. What I'm saying is there's been so much gun stat manipulation from both sides over the years, it's bound to pollute the sample. The people on one side embrace their favorite statistical outlets, while the other side does the same.
Q. How do you know when a person is familiar with correct guns stats or not?

A. They support the 2nd.
     
Clinically Insane
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Oct 3, 2013, 10:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Q. How do you know when a person is familiar with correct guns stats or not?

A. They support the 2nd.
Really?

Although I believe it's every lawful American's right to keep and bear arms, it's up to each state to determine how that's managed (barring an outright ban). In a nation this size, and with such a diverse population, I don't presume to believe that what works for Tennessee will also work for California.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
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Oct 3, 2013, 11:05 AM
 
Just ignore me Shaddim, I'm trolling.

Apologies to Dakar for the digression.
     
Games Meister
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Oct 3, 2013, 11:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Just ignore me Shaddim, I'm trolling.

Apologies to Dakar for the digression.
It's ok, I think this thread is done.
     
   
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