An intriguing, but not very rigorous, preliminary study on one aspect of "denialism".
"Scientific impotence" has been coined by psychologists to describe a phenomenon where a significant segment of the population rejects validated scientific data due to various pre-existing biases, such as religion (of course), political stance, or plain economics and their hip pocket. What differentiates the "scientific impotent" from common denialists or outright anti-science loons is that they maintain that they themselves are not anti-science and in fact take offense at the suggestion that they are. Article from Arstechnica -When science clashes with beliefs? Make science impotent
It's hardly a secret that large segments of the population choose not to accept scientific data because it conflicts with their predefined beliefs: economic, political, religious, or otherwise. But many studies have indicated that these same people aren't happy with viewing themselves as anti-science, which can create a state of cognitive dissonance. That has left psychologists pondering the methods that these people use to rationalize the conflict.A study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology takes a look at one of these methods, which the authors term "scientific impotence"—the decision that science can't actually address the issue at hand properly. It finds evidence that not only supports the scientific impotence model, but suggests that it could be contagious. Once a subject has decided that a given topic is off limits to science, they tend to start applying the same logic to other issues.
The actual study itself is not hot linkable to to cookie weirdness, but
can be found at Wiley
if you search for "123328312". The article is not a
freebie, unless someone has member access -
The Scientific Impotence Excuse:
Discounting Belief-Threatening Scientific Abstracts
The scientific impotence discounting hypothesis predicts that people
resist belief-disconfirming scientific evidence by concluding that the
topic of study is not amenable to scientific investigation. In 2
studies, participants read a series of brief abstracts that either
confirmed or disconfirmed their existing beliefs about a stereotype
associated with homosexuality. Relative to those reading
belief-confirming evidence, participants reading belief-disconfirming
evidence indicated more belief that the topic could not be studied
scientifically and more belief that a series of other unrelated topics
could not be studied scientifically. Thus, being presented with
belief-disconfirming scientific evidence may lead to an erosion of
belief in the efficacy of scientific methods.