We found this on Huffpo Politics page. The Washington Post ran an article called, The Power of Political Misinformation citing a soon-to-be-published study on how people respond to factual information. It seems the researchers have accomplished what empirical research does best – confirms the obvious. But considering this new information, progressives will need to arrive at a new strategy other than attempting to fight lies with mere truth.
Research has shown that we all to a certain degree, tend to believe something based on our pre-existing views. But this new study is significant because it shows that conservatives are particularly prone to this phenomenon, and in this particular study factual refutation actually increased their belief in the falsehood.
from Huffpo Politics
A new study out of Yale University confirms what argumentative liberals have long-known: Offering reality-based rebuttals to conservative lies only makes conservatives cling to those lies even harder. In essence, schooling conservatives makes them more stupid. From the Washington Post article on the study, which came out yesterday:
A similar “backfire effect” also influenced conservatives told about Bush administration assertions that tax cuts increase federal revenue. One group was offered a refutation by prominent economists that included current and former Bush administration officials. About 35 percent of conservatives told about the Bush claim believed it; 67 percent of those provided with both assertion and refutation believed that tax cuts increase revenue.
The typical mantra of the left is that we don’t need to sink to the Republicans’ level because we have the truth on our side. But if the other side is utterly immune to the truth – and indeed, the truth only makes them dig deeper into their fantasy world in which the economy is fundamentally strong and the War in Iraq is a staggering success – what’s a leftie to do?
The authors conclude, “..do yourself a favor and save your breath. As the study demonstrates, you’re only making matters worse.”