Have you ever noticed how studies focused on the same subject matter, following the same scientific method, can produce very different results? What about being in a position where you need to make informed decisions when faced with inconsistent, and sometimes contrasting, evidence? For a long time, I have been concerned with these, and other questions, for which there was no apparent answer. No solution. The application of the scientific method to test hypothesis(es), as is commonly employed in the natural sciences, just wasn’t going to cut it.
Gregor Wolbring: Genomics Cluster Collaborator, @Risk Project, ISSP, uOttawa
Associate Professor, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
Manel Djebrouni: Undergraduate student in the Bachelor in Community Rehabilitation, University of Calgary.
Motivated reasoning (MR) is about the dynamic where wants and desires have the potential to affect decision-making processes and how information is processed. We were exposed to MR as part of a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant led by PI Monica Gattinger called @Risk: Strengthening Canada’s Ability to Manage Risk. MR was identified as influencing risk management capacity and influencing expert and lay public assessments of risk.
Research Collaborator, @Risk Project
ISSP, University of Ottawa
For some years now, the phrase “evidence-based decision making” has been a clarion call for the rational and informed use of scientific - or at least factual - evidence when “decision makers” make decisions. In today’s world of social media echo chambers, fake news and increasingly polarized politics and world views, it has also come to have a somewhat pejorative use, wherein those whose decisions are not deemed to be evidence-based see themselves and their decisions being devalued, derided or otherwise discounted by those doing the deeming. This seems to be particularly true today when the decision makers are public servants and their political masters.