Motivated Numeracy and Active Reasoning in a Western European Sample

Paul Connor, Emily Sullivan, Nava Tintarev, Mark Alfano, Emily Sullivan

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Recent work by Kahan et al. (2017) on the psychology of motivated numeracy in the context of intracultural disagreement suggests that people are less likely to employ their capabilities when the evidence runs contrary to their political ideology. This research has so far been carried out primarily in the USA regarding the liberal–conservative divide over gun control regulation. In this paper, we present the results of a modified replication that included an active reasoning intervention with Western European participants regarding both the hierarchy–egalitarianism and individualism–collectivism divides over immigration policy (n = 746; considerably less than the preregistration sample size). We reproduce the motivated numeracy effect, though we do not find evidence of increased polarization of high-numeracy participants.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
Journaljournal of Behavioural Public Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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