I had thought that disagreement over Evolutionary Theory or Global Warming could be reinterpreted as an opportunity to engage other curious minds. As science becomes more egalitarian and open, more and more interested, educated citizens will join the debate. If science can learn with them (collaborative, constructivist model of knowledge), rather than teach toward them (defiency model of education in which learners need to be filled up with knowledge) we could realize a great opportunity.
However, not all arguers are open to persuasion. In complex, competing-message environments today some people pick their opinions first. Kruglanski has described a personality scale of closure/openess in decision-making. (Kruglanski, 1993)
Which phrases do you agree with?
I find that a well ordered life with regular hours suits my temperament.
I feel uncomfortable when I don't understand the reason why an event occurred in my life.
I don't like to go into a situation without knowing what I can expect from it.
When I am confused about an important issue, I feel very upset.
I usually make important decisions quickly and confidently
I don't like to be with people who are capable of unexpected actions.
I dislike it when a person's statement could mean many different things
I'd rather know bad news than stay in a state of uncertainty.
When I go shopping, I have difficulty deciding exactly what it is that I want.
I tend to put off making important decisions until the last possible moment
I would describe myself as indecisive.
My personal space is usually messy and disorganized
I tend to struggle with most decisions
Kruglanski, A. W., Webster, D. M., & Klem, A. (1993). Motivated resistance and openness to persuasion in the presence or absence of prior information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65 (5), 861-876