University of Michigan psychologist Jonathon Schuldt led a study which asked this question:
“You may have heard about the idea that the world’s temperature may have been going up over the past 100 years, a phenomenon sometimes called ‘global warming.’ What is your personal opinion regarding whether or not this has been happening?”
People were asked to respond on a seven-point scale, from “Definitely has not been happening” to “Definitely has been happening.” They were also asked to identify their political allegiance.
Turns out 86.9% of Democrats endorsed global warming, whereas only 44% of Republicans did.
People were then asked the following question:
“You may have heard about the idea that the world’s temperature may have been changing over the past 100 years, a phenomenon sometimes called ‘climate change.’ What is your personal opinion regarding whether or not this has been happening?”
I’ve highlighted the words that were changed.
The Democrat response was virtually the same at 86.4%, whereas 60.2% of Republicans endorsed climate change.
Please note that the questions avoided any mention of human agency. Republican support for AGW is presumably lower than 44%.
Please note also that there was no record of what the temperature of the room was at the time the survey was taken.
In another study Jane Risen of the University of Chicago and Clayton Critcher of the University of California, Berkeley, provide evidence that belief in global warming increases along with the temperature one is currently experiencing.
In the first of seven studies
67 American university students “were taken outside under the pretense of judging the height of several campus landmarks,” they write. The exercise occurred on several days in September and October, when the temperature ranged from 49 to 89 degrees.
The students filled out questionnaires in which they voiced their views on several political topics, including their degree of skepticism regarding climate change. They also reported their ideological leanings.
“We found that ambient temperature significantly predicted the belief in the validity of global warming, with participants reporting greater belief on warmer days,” Risen and Critcher report. “In fact, the effect of temperature was as strong as ideology, and was not qualified by it. Thus, outside temperature influenced liberals and conservatives similarly.”
Then in a second study
84 students completed the same survey while sitting in a small heated cubicle. For half of them, the cubicle was heated with a space heater for 15 minutes before their arrival, raising the air temperature from a comfortable 73 degrees to a toasty 81 degrees.
Sure enough, the temperature of the room had a significant effect. It seems that experiencing a visceral state significantly affects intellectual judgement. They describe this phenomenon as ‘visceral fit’.
To convert to Celsius, 49F is just under 10C, while 89F is about 32C. Which to me means the range of temperatures varies from the average daily minimum in July to above average maximum in January in terms of Brisbane weather. Sounds like Melbourne weather.
In the second study 73F equates to 23C and 81F is about 27.5C.
My observation based on actual experience in the 1980s where we had about 100 people working in an old building is that when the temperature moves outside a band of 18-26C people start to complain quite a lot and their efficiency is impaired. So both studies involved temperatures outside what I would consider comfortable for humans with low activity and with their clothes on. I’d be surprised if the results varied much in the 20-24C zone.
There’s a further factor which I wonder whether Risen and Critcher considered in their remaining studies. University students are usually quite young, presumably below the age of 24. This age is significant because we are told that the connection between the emotional and intellectual centres of the brain does not mature until age 24, plus or minus five, lower for females than males.
Back to the Schuld study, if you’d just read what this clown had to say, which was where I started, you may have been seriously misled. Apart from linking to James Taylor of the Heartland Institute for apparently serious comment, he says
That means 56% of Republicans turned out to be right and 86% of Democrats were wrong throughout the entire decade that global warming was big news.
And that “Republicans were actually smarter about science all this time.”
Come again! 56% of republicans are smart because they don’t sign on to global warming and 86% of Democrats are dumb because they do. Am I missing something?