Ideology

The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the ongoing pandemic of racial injustice. In the context of these twin pandemics, emergency medicine organizations are declaring that “Racism is a Public Health Crisis.” Accordingly, we are challenging emergency clinicians to respond to this emergency and commit to being antiracist. This courageous journey begins with naming racism and continues with actions addressing the intersection of racism and social determinants of health that result in health inequities.
Objective: Although the benefits of vaccines are widely recognized by medical experts, public opinion about vaccination policies is mixed. We analyze public opinion about vaccination policies to assess whether Dunning-Kruger effects can help to explain anti-vaccination policy attitudes. Rationale: People low in autism awareness – that is, the knowledge of basic facts and dismissal of misinformation about autism – should be the most likely to think that they are better informed than medical experts about the causes of autism (a Dunning-Kruger effect).
Previous research suggests that when individuals encounter new information, they interpret it through perceptual ‘filters’ of prior beliefs, relevant social identities, and messenger credibility. In short, evaluations are not based solely on message accuracy, but also on the extent to which the message and messenger are amenable to the values of one's social groups. Here, we use the release of Pope Francis's 2015 encyclical as the context for a natural experiment to examine the role of prior values in climate change cognition.