Political beliefs about controversial factual questions in politics are often closely linked with one’s ideological preferences or partisan beliefs
Reactions to corrective information will be influenced by those preferences
biased search process : seeking out information that supports their preconceptions and avoiding evidence that undercuts their beliefs (Taber & Lodge 2006)
Backfire effect : people counter argue preference-incongruent information and bolster their preexisting views
The effectiveness of corrective information is therefore likely to vary depending on the extent to which the individual has been exposed to similar messages elsewhere.
As a certain belief becomes widely viewed as discredited among the public and the press, individuals who might be ideologically sympathetic to that belief will be more likely to abandon it when exposed to corrective information.
The existence of Iraqi WMD and the effect of the Bush tax cuts on revenue = misperceptions are contradicted by the best available evidence
The belief that President Bush “banned” stem cell research = misperception is demonstrably incorrect.
More knowledgeable subjects were less likely to agree that Iraq had WMD and conservatives were more likely to agree with the statement.
We also find that correction treatment did not reduce overall misperceptions and the mortality salience manipulation was statistically insignificant.
For very liberal subjects, the correction worked as expected, making them more likely to disagree with the statement that Iraq had WMD compared with controls.
THe effect backfired for individuals who placed themselves on the right of center ideologically.
conservatives who received a correction telling them that Iraq did not have WMD were more likely to believe that Iraq had WMD than those in the control condition.
If subjects simply distrusted the media, they should simply ignore the corrective information. Instead, however, conservatives were found to have moved in the “wrong” direction – a reaction that is hard to attribute to simple distrust
Conservatives are more likely to believe that tax cuts increase government revenue and more knowledgeable subjects are less likely to do so
More importantly, the correction again fails to cause a statistically significant decline in overall misperceptions.
Responses to corrections in mock news articles differ significantly according to subjects’ ideological views.
Corrections fail to reduce misperceptions for the most committed participants.
They actually strengthen misperceptions among ideological subgroups in several cases.
Many liberals hold a misperception about the existence of a “ban” on stem cell research, a claim that both Senator John Kerry and Senator John Edwards made during the 2004 presidential campaign.
In fact, while President Bush limited federal funding of stem cell research to stem cell lines created before August 2001, he did not place any limitations on privately funded research (Fournier 2004).
We find a negative overall correction effect indicating that subjects who received the correction were less likely to believe that Bush banned stem cell research.
We also find that subjects with more political knowledge were less likely to agree that a ban existed
-In other words, while we do not find a backfire effect, the effect of the correction is again neutralized for the relevant ideological subgroup (liberals)
Do Facts matter?
Despite scientists’ consensus that there is no connection between autism and vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), a large and growing number of communities in the United States have immunization rates well below 95 percent
measles out breaks, 20013,14,16,17
Case studies of school districts and some (although not all) systematic evidence suggest that parents who resist vaccination are disproportionately well off and often politically liberal.
In a 2009 Pew survey on parental choice, respondents with at least some college education and relatively high incomes were more likely to endorse choice than those with a high school education or less or the poor.
Inertia is more likely than change—for people in any category
Actors who focus on the inactive informed have the goal of moving people out of that category (into the active informed), whereas actors who focus on the active misinformed have the easier task of encouraging people to remain as they are
parties in campaign mode (are there any other modes?) not only seek to induce supporters who are already informed and active to vote and contribute time or money but also try strenuously to mobilize copartisans who are informed but inactive
they already endorse the party’s candidate but need to be hunted down so that they will act on their knowledge by contributing or voting
where Obama was born is not genuinely in dispute or subject to alternative interpretations.
Thirteen Republican members of Congress cosponsored a bill in 2009 requiring presidential candidates to “include within the [campaign] committee’s statement of organization a copy of the candidate’s birth certificate” along with appropriate documentation
it’s not for me to state [whether the president is a native-born citizen or a Christian]. That’s for the president to state. . . . I think we should take the president at his word - Michele Bachmann
I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough - Mike Huckabee