Evidence based smear campaigns

May 1st, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, irrationality research, politics, smears | 41 Comments »

Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 1 May 2010

Elections are a time for smearing, and the Mail’s desperate story about Nick Clegg and the Nazis is my favourite so far. Generally the truth comes out, in time. But how much damage can smears do?

A new experiment published this month in the journal “Political Behaviour” sets out to examine the impact of corrections, and what they found was far more disturbing than they expected: far from changing peoples’ minds, if you are deeply entrenched in your views, a correction will only reinforce them.

Read the rest of this entry »