A poll to test the Lewandowsky methodology

Brandon Schollenberger writes:

As you’re aware, Stephan Lewandowsky has written several papers claiming to have found certain traits amongst global warming skeptics.  I believe his methodology is fundamentally flawed.  I believe a flaw present in his methodology is also present in the work of many others.

To test my belief, I’m seeking participants for a short survey (13 questions).  The questions are designed specifically to test a key aspect of Lewandowsky’s methodology.  The results won’t be published in any scientific journal, but I’ll do a writeup on them once the survey is closed and share it online.

The Poll follows.

Please feel free to participate and/or share the survey with anyone you’d like:

http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=jblyccj8lluam18284546

Note: the poll is just one page, and after submitting you’ll get a “make your own survey” ad page.

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Liberal Skeptic

i’m curious how many other people misread the bigfoot question 😉

M Courtney

Did this at the Bishop’s.
Obviously, I won’t do it again.
But how could you know if I did?

Nylo

Done…

Nylo

BTW I think “yes” is a valid response to the Bigfoot question… for anyone who watched any film about it 🙂

M Courtney, unless you actively attempt to game the survey, odds are you won’t be able to take the survey multiple times. The survey uses cookies to prevent it. It’s easy enough to cheat by deleting the cookie, but you’d have to go out of your way to. Otherwise, the only duplicates will come from people using multiple browsers/devices (or maybe re-visiting between Private mode sessions).

Ken Hall

Done.
However, I suspect that once alarmist get wind of this, that they will descend upon it in their multitudes and fill it in deliberately to make it look like climate realists (who believe that the earth has warmed slightly over the last century, though it is no longer warming currently) look like the total fruitcakes and lunatics that the alarmists believe them to be.
Expect lots of returns that state that they do not believe in global warming, but strongly approve of alien abduction, paedophilia and all the other negative answers available in that poll.

Nylo, it’s funny you say that. I had an exchange on Twitter with someone who made the same point. That’s not how I think most people would interpret the question, but that’s part of the fun of analyzing survey results. Unless you have empirical evidence, you really can’t know which interpretation people used.
Of course, believing you’ve seen Bigfoot on tape still requires you believe he’s real!

JJ

I was only presented with 3 questions, after which I clicked “Next Page” and got the ad for making your own survey.

What if I had no mother? I call a petri dish mom. 😉

Ken Hall, I’ve considered that possibility. Each survey response is given with a timestamp (but no IP address). That means response patterns change over time, it’ll be detectable.
It’ll certainly be interesting to watch for!

davidmhoffer

I don’t know how to answer the bigfoot question. I have big feet. So, I’ve never seen one, they only seem to come in pairs. Hey! I see everything twice! There’s some sort of catch to this…

Lance Wallace

Same as JJ–only 3 questions. I’m using chrome.
First question says “Global warming is a real” Any chance you could correct that? If so, maybe you could also provide a time scale (i.e., since 1800), since we’ve cooled compared to the first few thousand years of the Holocene.

Eric

Brandon
The first question states “Global warming is [b]A[/b] real.” Was is supposed to just be “…is real.”? Or is there some other philosophical higher meaning there?
Global warming is A real farce.
Global warming is A real pain in the a**.
Global warming is A real money making machine.

Eric

Obviously I don’t know how to BOLD properly…

Eric

And I don’t proofread…is= it

JJ, the three questions you refer to are the only questions in the survey. Each question has multiple parts, and there is a total of 13 parts. I instinctively see each individual query as a question of its own, but it’s become apparent other people view it differently. For what it’s worth, KwikSurveys interprets it as only three questions too.
As for the exit page, that’s an unfortunate aspect of KwikSurvey I didn’t know about until after I made the survey. It doesn’t let you customize your exit page unless you’re a paying customer. That didn’t seem like enough of a reason to purchase an account with them. This survey was for fun and to test a simple point, and I’m not funded by a university or anything. I think it’s sufficient for casual conversations on blogs.
Obviously I’d do things differently if this was intended to be published in a scientific journal.

Richard111

As Ken Hall said above. That is a warmist trait. What have personal traits to do with science anyway?

I believethat you are, by debating Lewandosky’s results, you are implicity accepting Lewandosky’s belief that such things have any relevance for scientific endeavors. Lewandosky’s whole approch is nothing more than an ad hominem attack, clothed in pseudo-psychological mumbo jumbo, at
that. Don’t follow him down that road. It’s a journey to nowhere.

Cdt Michel e.r. from Belgium

A participé.
Une Bonne et Heureuse Année à toutes et à tous.

done.
I took the bigfoot question as having personally seen it.
so I said no.

Lance Wallace, changing any wording of the survey would require dumping all the data collected so far. I could save it to my hard drive first, but even if I did, I’m not comfortable changing a question midway through.
That said, you and Eric should know typos like that are known to catch people off guard. The surprise of it makes them pay more attention. I’ll leave it to you to guess whether the attention getting mistake in the first question was intentional or not 😛

North of 43 and south of 44

Answered.
That should screw up the survey.

You forgot to mention:
1. The Trilateral Commision
2. The Iluminati
3. JFK Killed by the CIA
4. 9/11 was staged by the CIA.
5. The Moon Landings were faked
6. And the biggest whopper of all, Ohbombus is a Kenyan, Moslem, Incompetant or Robot controlled by Soros!

JoeH

The racism one I put neutral because mostly it’s a farce used by leftists to end arguments; Conversely, where it actually exists the people who are deemed racist are usually under attack by some other faction, so whether it is bad or not is wholly dependent on who, why, where, what, and how.
I was tempted to say yes for bigfoot – as I’ve seen them many times on tv etc.
Also its hard not to answer facetiously just for the fun of it! (Though I tried not to) Sorry – that’s just the way my mind works!

Max Hugoson:

Garacka

I loved the alien question as I got to only disagree vice strongly disagreeing. I didn’t see any need go to further and in fact, if I was abducted by aliens, it seems possible that they could have done it without my knowledge, so why hang myself out on the absolutist wing….
BTW, honest to god truth, I do know someone who claimed to have been abducted by aliens since the age of 5. This person was on several (7) talk shows (yes i counted them), maybe 15 years ago. They probably had a condition where, when sleeping, the conscious mind is not shut down, making the dreams “real.”

Gunga Din

My Mom died some years ago. The question was in the present tense. That’s the problem with surveys. To often how a question and/or answer is phrased doesn’t allow an accurate answer. I could have answered that I “strongly disagree” but I answered as if it read “(is/was)”.

Ted Clayton

It seemed odd, that there is only 3 questions, but multiple parts or versions of each.
If I had known about the ‘novel’ structure, I would not have done it. It seemed ‘cute’ or ‘clever’. I expected “13 questions”, but got … I’m not sure what.

SAMURAI

Oh boy….
Sorry folks, but I think I may have really skewed the poll because I believe my wonderful mother is actually an alien Big Foot that came to Earth to escape CAGW ( “A”=Alien) on her home planet, only to find Earth’s CAGW even worse than on her planet Xenor…

DirkH

“As you’re aware, Stephan Lewandowsky has written several papers claiming to have found certain traits amongst global warming skeptics. I believe his methodology is fundamentally flawed. ”
His methodology of smearing climate sceptics as moonlanding hoax believers, or his methodology of using the SkS treehouse club to fake surveys of scientific abstracts?

Steve from Rockwood

What about those of us who were abducted by Big Foot but can’t face reality?

DirkH

arthur4563 says:
January 10, 2014 at 8:41 am
“Lewandosky’s whole approch is nothing more than an ad hominem attack, clothed in pseudo-psychological mumbo jumbo, at that.”
Well, he’s a sociologist.
” Don’t follow him down that road. It’s a journey to nowhere.”
It’s a journey to a wonderful sociologist technocracy with free stuff for all (until stuff runs out).

PaulM

“As you’re aware, Stephan Lewandowsky has written several papers claiming to have found certain traits amongst global warming skeptics…”
What difference would it make if he were right?
Don’t feed the troll.

JimS

The survey seems to be trying to measure how gullible and bigotted is a skeptic/denier of AGW.

Tom O

Do you have a time/date when you will publish the results of the survey? It really would be interesting to see how many people never made a mistake.

Gunga Din

SAMURAI says:
January 10, 2014 at 9:14 am
Oh boy….
Sorry folks, but I think I may have really skewed the poll because I believe my wonderful mother is actually an alien Big Foot that came to Earth to escape CAGW ( “A”=Alien) on her home planet, only to find Earth’s CAGW even worse than on her planet Xenor…

=========================================================================
So does that make you an illegal alien? 😎

Gunga Din, I’m in complete agreement with you. Survey questions are almost inevitably badly designed.
Ted Clayton, you may be the first person I’ve ever seen express dismay at a survey being short. I shudder to imagine if I had made survey four times as long (to be roughly “13 questions”). Who wants to have to give 40+ answers?
DirkH, I have no idea what you mean when you refer to Lewandowsky supposedly “using the SkS treehouse club to fake surveys of scientific abstracts.” I’m one of the biggest critics of Cook et al, but I don’t know of any methodology Lewandowsky used related to them. (And they didn’t fake surveys of anything. They just misinterpreted and misrepresented their results to ridiculous levels.)

JohnL

I got hit with adware on that page, a download called “VideoPlayerV3” got installed in my extensions and crashed chrome. On restart I had crap ads all over the place, not sure if the download was from that page or not as I had other open tabs… but it was while I was doing the survey.

Rob aka Flatlander

I think that I answered the poll honestly and will result in the example you are looking for (possibly). The alien abduction one stumped me as I’m not sure whether or not I was so I had to remain neutral.

David L. Hagen

Brandon
I second Lance’s query on the question: “Global warming is a real”.
There are numerous definitions of “global warming”.
Whether “Global warming” is “real” depends strongly on the time period.
~None for ~ 15-17 years.
Warming since the Little Ice Age
Cooling since the Medieval Warm period, or Roman Warm period or Holocene Optimum.
Warming since the last glaciation.
Cooling since the previous interglacial period. etc.
It similarly depends on the statistical criteria required.
e.g. +/- 1 sigma;
+/- 2 sigma; and
whether Type B uncertainty is included and how large it is estimated to be. (e.g. see A Beginner’s Guide to Uncertainty of Measurement Stephanie Bell; sect 6.1, 7.1.2)
Some “climate alarmists” redefine “catastrophic majority anthropogenic global warming” as “global warming” and in turn as “climate change”. Thus “is global warming real” becomes an equivocation for “catastrophic majority anthropogenic global warming” and anyone disagreeing or even questioning the statement is a “denier”!
The UNFCC in its wisdom even redefined “climate change”

“2. “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.”

So according to the UNFCC, any use of “climate change” cannot include any natural component!
To be scientifically testable, I would want each of the above issues to be clarified! Still I took the survey.
Welcome to 1984/a dogs breakfast/spagetti junction/politically correct question!
I look forward to your results.
PS If Lewandowsky can get a “peer reviewed” paper with results based on ZERO evidence, you should be able to on this real data. See Steve McIntyre on More False Claims from Lewandowsky!

Ox AO

This is how it should be asked in my opinion:
Is Global Warming real? Yes, so is Global cooling
Is it a problem? When we go back into glaciation yes.
AGW is real? Of course. We create .6 deg C direct heat.
Is it a problem? no
CAGW is real? It is based on Positive feed back which is clearly fake science.
In other words I believe I messed up your test.
It would seem I believe in Global warming (cooling) and it will be a problem.

Stephen Richards

Is Sholl’r an AGW supporter. If so leave it. They have damaged a propensity for distortion and misrepresentation. If he isn’t then fine.

r

got through first page, next page was add for survey building. Where are the results posted?
Thanks,

Nylo

bshollenberger says:
January 10, 2014 at 8:23 am
[…]
Of course, believing you’ve seen Bigfoot on tape still requires you believe he’s real!

“He”? Who mentioned any “he”? There exists a film whose name is “Bigfoot”, it is a real film and I have seen it. The film. But then, it doesn’t need to be a film. I may have a cousin with a dog that he likes to call “Bigfoot” and should I have seen that dog, I could claim having seen Bigfoot…

Gaming surveys is an obvious concern. Over at Pharyngula they used to look for online surveys where PZ Meyers could utilize his large audiance to skew them in a left wing direction.
I would like to suggest a crowdsourcing project. It seems to me that with all the available open source crypto technology, a system of tokens could be devised to allow commenters at blogs to have their votes tallied anonimously without cheating. If such a system could be created, it would probably become manditory for the social sciences. Think of the delicious irony of Lew and company being required to use software created by climate skeptics. I don’t know how hard this would be. Perhaps Mosh or Willis could whip it up in an afternoon. If there’s any patent rights, I want my cut!

Jay Dunnell

I thoroughly enjoyed this survey! Good thing I hadn’t started lunch yet. My keyboard was spared from the spewing of liquids and solids as I laughed heartedly. I love my mom, but I don’t believe in anything!

Alan McIntire

philjourdan says:
“January 10, 2014 at 8:27 am
What if I had no mother? I call a petri dish mom. ”
Or your mother is deceased- The question reads “is”, not “was”

Ted Clayton

bshollenberger said @ January 10, 2014 at 9:35 am;

Ted Clayton, you may be the first person I’ve ever seen express dismay at a survey being short. I shudder to imagine if I had made survey four times as long (to be roughly “13 questions”). Who wants to have to give 40+ answers?

Are you confusing a “poll” with a “survey”? A poll is usually only a few items long. To get good resolution on a survey, usually takes a more fine-grained (longer) set of questions.
It wasn’t the number of questions, or sub-questions that has me scratching my head. It’s the odd structure of the thing that sticks out.

Mike Tremblay

Oddly enough, I just finished reading Lewandowsky, et al’s “Subterranean War on Science” from the Observer before I read this. My interpretation of their paper was that it was a classic case of the direct example of the ‘Pot calling the kettle black’. That paper was a direct attack on skeptics in general using the same tactics that they were accusing the skeptics of using. The articles they cited to support their attacks were all based on the same faulty methodology – ie. WHO’s claim that 150,000 lives are being lost to AGW annually does not tally the number of lives saved because of increased production due to higher CO2 levels and increased growing season lengths or increased standards of living due to having a cheaper energy source nor does it tally the number of lives lost because of things like increased grain prices in poorer nations because of green policies to reduce AGW.
Lewandowsky is not above using his position and title to design psychological and sociological studies which purport to show how deranged skeptics are. At the same time those studies reveal that he and his cohorts have developed their own ‘conspiracy theories’ about ‘deniers’ and shows definite signs of paranoia. Most alarmists seem to follow the same tack – it would be interesting to see a counter-study done by an accredited psychologist on the mentality of alarmists like Lewandowsky.

Rob aka Flatlander

Oh the irony: He calls himself a debunker and has a self promoting section on WIKI.
According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, to “debunk” is defined as:
To expose the falseness or hollowness of (a myth, idea, or belief).
To reduce the inflated reputation of (someone), esp. by ridicule: “comedy takes delight in debunking heroes”.
then the guy adds this at the end of the Merriam-Webster definition to make himself appear to be involved with the definition:
If debunkers are not careful, their communications may backfire – increasing an audience’s long-term belief in myths. Backfire effects can occur if a message spends too much time on the negative case, if it is too complex, or if the message is threatening.[2]
What a self-important fellow this guy is.
the wiki page
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debunker