In the United States, bipartisan issues divide the nation. Conservatives and liberals cannot resolves certain issues — involving climate change, for instance — and often accomplish little due to these bipartisan splits. A study from Duke University, however, may clarify and help to understand the existence of such dramatic ideological differences.

 

So far in the 21st century, each year has been among the hottest. (nyt.com)

So far in the 21st century, each year has been among the hottest. (nyt.com)

The Duke study found that people approach scientific findings based on whether or not they find the outcome and implications of such findings desirable. That is, if a person favors a particular outcome of a particular scientific study, they will be more likely to support the study in a political sense. Conversely, if they do not find the outcome desirable, they will go so far as to deny that the problem exists and exercise their disfavor politically.

 

Co-author Troy Campbell says that solutions to problems “should not influence one’s belief in the problem.” However, they do. Campbell referred to the problem as “solution aversion.”

 

Researches at Duke University focused on three issues in particular political issues: climate change, air pollution, and crime. Such issues represent prevalent problems that demand action and serious consideration. However, if a significant portion of the population will not back certain modes of action based on the outcome, then this represents a burdening obstacle.

 

Although scientific findings have made significant strides in defending the existence of climate change, Republicans tend to deny its existence because fighting climate change would entail increased government regulation. Similarly, liberals tended to deny the prevalence of home invasions because such an acknowledgement may entail relaxed gun control laws.

 

The findings of Duke University may help to clarify and resolve political divides. To create concrete results, political issues need to be dealt with in a serious, head-on approach — not in a manner that considers the ends over the means.

 

What do you think of the political implications of this study? Respond below or on Twitter @ryanlawlessness