We examine comprehension of scientific information as a function of subjects' beliefs and why they hold them (evidence-based vs. affect-based.) In Experiment 1, subjects read texts one sentence at a time that were consistent or inconsistent with beliefs. Evidence-based (but not affect-based) subjects slowed down for specific sentences that were inconsistent with the main position of the text. In Experiment 2, subjects read a one-sided and a neutral text, then wrote a summary of the neutral text. Evidence-based subjects wrote more neutral summaries. Both experiments suggest evidence-based subjects engage in what we refer to as balanced evidence processing.
Conference of the Society for Text and Discourse
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_b_wolfe/4/