Considering the role of "need for cognition" in students' acceptance of climate change & evolution

Jeremy Kudrna, Marta Shore, Deena M Wassenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Anthropogenic climate change (ACC) and evolution are examples of issues that are perceived differently by scientists and the general public. Within the scientific community, there are clear consensuses that human activities are increasing global temperatures (ACC) and that evolutionary mechanisms have led to the biodiversity of life on Earth (evolution). However, there is much debate in the public discourse about the scientific evidence supporting these topics. The purpose of our study was to explore the relationship between a student's need for cognition (NFC) - preference to engage in and enjoy thinking - and the student's acceptance of ACC and evolution. The results revealed that students with a higher NFC were more accepting of both ACC and evolution. Future investigations should include evaluating the efficacy of different instructional techniques on NFC and acceptance of polarizing topics such as evolution and ACC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-257
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Biology Teacher
Volume77
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

Keywords

  • Darwinism
  • Need for cognition
  • climate change
  • critical thinking
  • evolution
  • global warming
  • science denial
  • skepticism

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