The Downside of Registering Outrage (The New York Times)


In a New York Times opinion piece, Dartmouth’s Brendan Nyhan says the United States’ denouncement of anti-Semitic flyers distributed in Ukraine—which are now thought to have been a hoax—may have unfortunate results.

“First, the statements bring more attention to an apparently bogus story,” writes Nyhan, an assistant professor of government. “Even if news media coverage questions the authenticity of the fliers, repeating false claims has been shown to make them seem more familiar. Over time, this familiarity leads people to be more likely to misremember the claim as true — what the psychologist Norbert Schwarz and colleagues call the ‘illusion of truth’ effect.”

Read the full opinion piece, published 4/24/14 by The New York Times.

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