For years, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has released expert consensus reports confirming the reality of global warming and the safety of disposing nuclear wastes deep underground. However, intense debate still persists over these and many other issues scientifically proven and reported by the NAS. The arguments do not revolve around criticizing scientists and their evidence, so the main problem is not actually a lack of faith in the scientic method. Rather, people on both sides of these debates believe that the science supports their side. This phenomenon may be due to “cultural cognition,” and Yale Researchers at the Cultural Cognition Project (CCP) have been studying cultural cognition in a variety of topics, ranging from nanotechnology to gay and lesbian parenting to adjudicatory fact-findings. They aim to improve our understanding of how cultural values influence the perception of risk and the potent effect that this phenomenon can have on public policy.
What is Cultural Cognition?
“Cultural cognition refers to the tendency of people to fit their perceptions of risk and related facts to their group commitments”.