by M. Rectenwald, Oct 12, 2022 in ClimateChangeDispatch
It does this by pathologizing said subjects and their views.
For example, the field has been mobilized to discredit so-called conspiracy theorists by attempting to identify the mistaken mental processes that conspiracy theorists exhibit. [bold, links added]
The methods and results of such studies have proven to be less than stellar, to say the least.
Now, the field is also being wielded to discredit “climate change deniers.”1 By pathologizing the thinking processes of these stubbornly mistaken subjects, the views of said subjects can be safely dismissed.
After all, the theory of anthropogenic climate change (ACC) is obviously true, or so says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the planetary authority on the matter.
Likewise, those who doubt or deny ACC must be crazy. The point of psychological studies is to discover just what is wrong with these people and how, if possible, to change their minds.
Never mind that “the science” is dubious or that climate change is ludicrously being blamed for heart attacks, obesity in children, increased violence, and terrorism, among other medical and social maladies.
Believing in a causal connection between a questionable climate change theory and these phenomena must be perfectly rational, according to this kind of research.
Such is the thrust of a recent study of Australian climate change skeptics conducted by a lecturer in psychology and a professor of geology at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Entitled “Associations of Locus of Control, Information Processing Style and Anti-reflexivity with Climate Change Scepticism in an Australian Sample,” the study examines climate change skeptics in terms of thinking styles rather than “values” and “sociodemographic” factors.
Since past research has found values and sociodemographic factors to be intractable, the researchers in this study seek to identify factors that presumably can be changed and that should likewise prove useful for the study.