Evaluations of science are robustly biased by identity concerns

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

People are known to evaluate science based on whether it (dis)affirms their collective identities. We examined whether personal identity concerns also bias evaluation processes by manipulating the degree to which summaries of ostensible scientific research about an unfamiliar topic manipulating whether summaries were or inconsistent with how participants thought about themselves. In three preregistered experiments (N = 644) conducted across two continents, participants were more likely to believe the science when its conclusions aligned with prior understanding of their self, effects that were mediated through positive emotional reactions. Two of the experiments also tested a de-biasing intervention: prior to evaluating science, participants received a brief tutorial on the ecological fallacy (of which, self-related biases represent a special case). The tutorial did not mitigate identity-biased evaluations. This experimental evidence raises questions about whether it is possible to engage global citizens more fully in science consumption while not further triggering identity-based biasing processes.

TidsskriftGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)568-582
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 31 maj 2021

Bibliografisk note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

ID: 274133389