1/ Duke University researchers found that people believed or disbelieved a claim about climate change depending on proposed solution mechanism.
2/ Republicans were more likely to believe the claim if the proposed solution was based on free-market mechanisms rather than regulation.
3/ In this case, Democrats showed no effect. But in another, a looser gun control proposal made Democrats downplay violent crime problems.
4/ Solution aversion is similar to confirmation bias: preferentially seeking out evidence supporting one's position.
5/ I think solution aversion exists because our preferred problem solving approaches are at the very heart of our identities.
6/ We ARE how we solve problems. Often navigating the threat to identity is 10x harder than merely learning the new skill.
7/ "When you have a hammer in your hand, everything looks like a nail." Corollary: "If I take away your hammer, I blind you."
8/ Worse, I make you feel unworthy and helpless relative to your arch-rival, Person With Screwdriver Who Thinks Everything is a Screw.
9/ You also see corporations resisting change because the Evil Screwdriver Faction would gain power at the expense of the Noble Hammer Faction.
10/ I've found personally that the most effective way to deprogram myself is to separate the mechanism from its champion.
11/ Regulation mechanisms are not the same as evil hippies. Free markets are not the same as evil conservatives.
12/ Taking people out of the equation, you are left with question of necessary/sufficient conditions under which a mechanism works.
13/ No mechanism is universally applicable. If you don't understand the scope of a mechanism, you don't understand it at all.
14/ Solution aversion is chjaracteristic of formulaic "doerism". We use uncritically held values to fill gaps in understanding, instead of thinking.
15/ A core idea in the breaking smart philosophy (see Tinkering over Goals) is that the Internet has elevated new problem-solving mechanisms.
16/ In every breaking smart workshop, I've noticed a tendency to trivialize problems solved by bits that were taken seriously when they were solved by atoms.
17/ Equally, I've noticed uncritically evangelical digital culture proponents trivializing problems that don't yield to digital mechanisms.
18/ This is funny. A problem doesn't change in importance simply because we solve it with Twitter instead of Serious Committee of Elders.
19/ A sarcastic phrase popular among tech critics, "click here to save the world" gets at both sides of the bias. Sometimes you can do it. Sometimes you can't.
20/ So the next time you encounter solution aversion, set aside identity issues and ask: when does this mechanism actually apply?