Does Counter-Attitudinal Information Cause Backlash? Results from Three Large Survey Experiments

@article{Guess2018DoesCI,
  title={Does Counter-Attitudinal Information Cause Backlash? Results from Three Large Survey Experiments},
  author={Andrew Markus Guess and Alexander Coppock},
  journal={British Journal of Political Science},
  year={2018},
  volume={50},
  pages={1497 - 1515}
}
Abstract Several theoretical perspectives suggest that when individuals are exposed to counter-attitudinal evidence or arguments, their pre-existing opinions and beliefs are reinforced, resulting in a phenomenon sometimes known as ‘backlash’. This article formalizes the concept of backlash and specifies how it can be measured. It then presents the results from three survey experiments – two on Mechanical Turk and one on a nationally representative sample – that find no evidence of backlash… 

Why the backfire effect does not explain the durability of political misperceptions

  • B. Nyhan
  • Psychology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2021
The research that is reviewed suggests that the accuracy-increasing effects of corrective information like fact checks often do not last or accumulate; instead, they frequently seem to decay or be overwhelmed by cues from elites and the media promoting more congenial but less accurate claims.

Why “backfire effects” do not explain the durability of political misperceptions

Previous research indicated that corrective information can provoke a so-called “backfire effect” in which respondents more strongly endorsed a misperception about a controversial political or

Can “Googling” correct misbelief? Cognitive and affective consequences of online search

Results of the two experiments indicated that online search reduces on average the likelihood of believing the misinformation, and the magnitude of the effect is larger among those who are predisposed to believe the misinformation.

Facts and Myths about Misperceptions

  • B. Nyhan
  • Political Science
    Journal of Economic Perspectives
  • 2020
Misperceptions threaten to warp mass opinion and public policy on controversial issues in politics, science, and health. What explains the prevalence and persistence of these false and unsupported

Exposure to Extremely Partisan News from the Other Political Side Shows Scarce Boomerang Effects

A narrow information diet may be partly to blame for the growing political divides in the United States, suggesting exposure to dissimilar views as a remedy. These efforts, however, could be

Taking Fact-Checks Literally But Not Seriously? The Effects of Journalistic Fact-Checking on Factual Beliefs and Candidate Favorability

Are citizens willing to accept journalistic fact-checks of misleading claims from candidates they support and to update their attitudes about those candidates? Previous studies have reached

Knowledge Persists, Opinions Drift: Learning and Opinion Change in a Three-Wave Panel Experiment

Considerable evidence exists that Americans possess not only low levels of political knowledge but also relatively uninformed—and sometimes misinformed—opinions on policy matters. Many recent studies

Aggregated fact-checks, partisanship, and perceptions of candidate honesty

ABSTRACT Evidence of journalistic fact-checking’s capacity to correct misperceptions is mixed, and evidence of its capacity to alter candidate appraisals is even more limited. However, to date,

When Do Sources Persuade? The Effect of Source Credibility on Opinion Change

Discussions around declining trust in the US media can be vague about its effects. One classic answer comes from the persuasion literature, in which source credibility plays a key role. However,

Optimal Persuasion under Confirmation Bias: Theory and Evidence From a Registered Report

Political actors face a trade-off when they try to influence the beliefs of voters about the effects of policy proposals. They want to sway voters maximally, yet voters may discount predictions
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 80 REFERENCES

A Theory of Rational Attitude Polarization

Numerous experiments have demonstrated the possibility of attitude polarization. For instance, Lord, Ross & Lepper (1979) partitioned subjects into two groups, according to whether or not they

Biased Assimilation and Attitude Polarization: The Effects of Prior Theories on Subsequently Considered Evidence

People who hold strong opinions on complex social issues are likely to examine relevant empirical evidence in a biased manner. They are apt to accept "confirming" evidence at face value while

Effects of Evidence on Attitudes: Is Polarization the Norm?

A 1979 study by Lord, Ross, and Lepper has been widely cited as showing that examination of mixed evidence on a topic leads to polarization of attitudes The polarization phenomenon, we suggest, in

The Elusive Backfire Effect: Mass Attitudes’ Steadfast Factual Adherence

Can citizens heed factual information, even when such information challenges their partisan and ideological attachments? The “backfire effect,” described by Nyhan and Reifler (Polit Behav

Demand Effects in Survey Experiments: An Empirical Assessment

Survey experiments are ubiquitous in social science. A frequent critique is that positive results in these studies stem from experimenter demand effects (EDEs)—bias that occurs when participants

You Cannot be Serious: The Impact of Accuracy Incentives on Partisan Bias in Reports of Economic Perceptions

When surveyed about economic conditions, supporters of the president's party often report more positive conditions than its opponents. Scholars have interpreted this finding to mean that partisans

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

Motivated Skepticism in the Evaluation of Political Beliefs

We propose a model of motivated skepticism that helps explain when and why citizens are biased-information processors. Two experimental studies explore how citizens evaluate arguments about

MISPERCEPTIONS ABOUT PERCEPTUAL BIAS

▪ Abstract Do people assimilate new information in an efficient and unbiased manner—that is, do they update prior beliefs in accordance with Bayes' rule? Or are they selective in the way that they

Opinion Backlash and Public Attitudes: Are Political Advances in Gay Rights Counterproductive?

One long-recognized consequence of the tension between popular sovereignty and democratic values like liberty and equality is public opinion backlash, which occurs when individuals recoil in response
...