Increases in science skepticism among the public represent an important societal challenge. While recent research has shed light on some of the ideological correlates of specific manifestations of science skepticism – such as climate change denial and vaccine hesitancy – a unifying psychological principle that can be applied to science skepticism more generally has not yet been identified. In this ERC-funded project, the PsySci Lab investigates psychological distance to science (PSYDISC) as a precursor of science skepticism in various domains, ranging from climate science to vaccination and artificial intelligence, as well as of general trust in science.
Zarzeczna, N., Véckalov, B., Niehoff, E., & Rutjens, B. T. Decreased psychological distance to gene editing reduces public scepticism. Under review.