Dan Kahan, Yale Law School

What Do You Believe People’s “Beliefs” Are?: Dan Kahan is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law & Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School, and a member of the Cultural Cognition Project. He is a visiting scholar at APPC for the spring 2016 semester. Abstract: “What do you believe people’s ‘beliefs’ are: (1) indicators of what they know; (2) expressions of who they are; or (3) dispositions suited for whatever it is they *do* with them?” (99) don’t know / refused. This talk will use the question of what “beliefs” measure to integrate key findings from ongoing APPC Science of Science Communication research projects. It will also venture a provisional (one would hope that goes without saying) account of how a pluralistic conception of “belief” can promote both enlargement of  knowledge of how people come to know what science knows and advance evidence-based practices that enable people more reliably to recognize and give effect to scientific knowledge in their individual and collective decision-making.

About the Speaker

Dan Kahan is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law & Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School. His primary research interests are risk perception and science communication. He is a member of the Cultural Cognition Project, an interdisciplinary team of scholars who use empirical methods to examine the impact of group values on perceptions of risk and related facts. In studies funded by the National Science Foundation, his research has investigated public disagreement over climate change, public reactions to emerging technologies, and conflicting public impressions of scientific consensus. Articles featuring the Project’s studies have appeared in a variety of peer-reviewed scholarly journals including the Journal of Risk Research, Judgment and Decision Making, Nature Climate Change, Science, and Nature. He is a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.