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Not all skepticism is equal: Exploring the ideological antecedents of science acceptance and rejection

Rutjens, Bastiaan T., Sutton, Robbie M., van der Lee, Romy (2018) Not all skepticism is equal: Exploring the ideological antecedents of science acceptance and rejection. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44 (3). pp. 384-405. ISSN 0146-1672. E-ISSN 1552-7433. (doi:10.1177/0146167217741314) (KAR id:63674)

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Many topics that scientists investigate speak to people’s ideological worldviews. We report three studies—including an analysis of large-scale survey data— in which we systematically investigate the ideological antecedents of general faith in science and willingness to support science, as well as of science skepticism of climate change, vaccination, and GM. The main predictors are religiosity and political orientation, morality, and science understanding. Overall, science understanding is associated with vaccine and GM food acceptance, but not climate change acceptance. Importantly, different ideological predictors are related to the acceptance of different scientific findings. Political conservatism best predicts climate change skepticism. Religiosity, alongside moral purity concerns, best predicts vaccination skepticism. GM food skepticism is not fueled by religious or political ideology. Finally, religious conservatives consistently display a low faith in science and an unwillingness to support science. Thus, science acceptance and rejection have different ideological roots, depending on the topic of investigation.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0146167217741314
Uncontrolled keywords: science; religion; conservatism; morality; science skepticism; anti-science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Robbie Sutton
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2017 08:50 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2021 11:03 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Sutton, Robbie M.:
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