When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions

When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions An extensive literature addresses citizen ignorance, but very little research focuses on misperceptions. Can these false or unsubstantiated beliefs about politics be corrected? Previous studies have not tested the efficacy of corrections in a realistic format. We conducted four experiments in which subjects read mock news articles that included either a misleading claim from a politician, or a misleading claim and a correction. Results indicate that corrections frequently fail to reduce misperceptions among the targeted ideological group. We also document several instances of a “backfire effect” in which corrections actually increase misperceptions among the group in question. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-010-9112-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

An extensive literature addresses citizen ignorance, but very little research focuses on misperceptions. Can these false or unsubstantiated beliefs about politics be corrected? Previous studies have not tested the efficacy of corrections in a realistic format. We conducted four experiments in which subjects read mock news articles that included either a misleading claim from a politician, or a misleading claim and a correction. Results indicate that corrections frequently fail to reduce misperceptions among the targeted ideological group. We also document several instances of a “backfire effect” in which corrections actually increase misperceptions among the group in question.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 30, 2010

References

  • Beyond the running tally: Partisan bias in political perceptions
    Bartels, LM
  • Shot by the messenger: Partisan cues and public opinion regarding national security and war
    Baum, MA; Groeling, T
  • American Roulette: The effect of reminders of death on support for George W. Bush in the 2004
    Cohen, F; Ogilvie, DM; Solomon, S; Greenberg, J; Pyszczynski, T

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