Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I'm sure that Brendan Nyhan already knows this paper. But it's not very good news for those of us who hope political debate can be improved by more accurate political information. The message seems to be "Lie often, and go negative early." Reminds of the Christmas card I saw from Jason Reifler

Belief Echoes: The Persistent Effects of Corrected Misinformation

Emily Thorson 
Political Communication, forthcoming 

Abstract: Across three separate experiments, I find that exposure to negative political information continues to shape attitudes even after the information has been effectively discredited. I call these effects “belief echoes.” Results suggest that belief echoes can be created through an automatic or deliberative process. Belief echoes occur even when the misinformation is corrected immediately, the “gold standard” of journalistic fact-checking. The existence of belief echoes raises ethical concerns about journalists’ and fact-checking organizations’ efforts to publicly correct false claims.


Dr. Tufte said...

I'm glad someone published this (to make it "official"), but no one should be surprised. This is why courtroom lawyers ask questions that raise objections. Even if the objection is upheld, they've still planted the seed in jurors' minds.

TM Lutas said...

Echoes only last so long. Not a lot of people believe the original communist claims of orderly planning creating plenty even though that one echoed like crazy. So how do you present facts so often that the echoes die out quicker? That's a professionally interesting question for me.