Politics and Grassroots

The fake research that almost had real impact

A campaign in support of same sex marriage used in-person conversations and personal stories – and it measurably changed opinions. Sounds legit, right? Well, it turned out the whole thing was fake.

The most sophisticated campaigns usually don’t bother trying to change voters’ minds on issues. Moving opinions, especially on deeply-held beliefs, seemed to happen over much longer periods of time and include forces outside politics. Candidates deal with the realities of their electorate. In many ways, a campaign doesn’t convince voters to agree with the candidate, but that the candidate agrees with them — and downplays the areas of disagreement… LaCour and Green’s study turned this model on its head — until other researchers determined that the original survey data had been fabricated.

Read more in this week’s post at Communities Digital News.

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