Can journalistic "false balance" distort public perception of consensus in expert opinion?

  title={Can journalistic "false balance" distort public perception of consensus in expert opinion?},
  author={Derek J. Koehler},
  journal={Journal of experimental psychology. Applied},
  volume={22 1},
  • D. Koehler
  • Published 11 January 2016
  • Psychology
  • Journal of experimental psychology. Applied
Media critics have expressed concern that journalistic "false balance" can distort the public's perceptions of what ought to be noncontroversial subjects (e.g., climate change). I report several experiments testing the influence of presenting conflicting comments from 2 experts who disagree on an issue (balance condition) in addition to a complete count of the number of experts on a panel who favor either side. Compared with a control condition, who received only the complete count… 

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