Are deceitful politicians impervious to scrutiny? A test of voters’ truth-default
International Communication Association 71st Annual Conference, Mass Communication division, Denver, CO, United States.
Abstract: Truth-default theory (TDT) holds that people tend to passively believe others without consciously considering whether they are being told the truth. But do voters have a truth-default toward politicians? In an experiment, voters across the U.S. (N = 294) watched a news interview in which a politician was either honest or deceptive. Party affiliation was also manipulated. Consistent with TDT, thought-listing tasks revealed that most voters did not mention deception after exposure to the campaign interview. Voters largely defaulted to the truth even when sustaining outgroup partisan exposure and deception, and when asked about the politician’s demeanor. Filling out closed-ended scales, though, voters reported distrust, suspicion, and perceiving deceptive messaging. Discussion concerns implications of voters’ perceptions of a politician’s veracity varying based on how voters are prompted.
Cementing Their Heroes: Historical Newspaper Coverage of Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Confederate Monuments
Little, Alexia (Grady M.A.) (Forthcoming). Cementing Their Heroes: Historical Newspaper Coverage of Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Confederate Monuments. Journalism History. Abstract: Following continued conflicts about Confederate monuments in American society, this study explores Civil War memory encapsulated in newspaper coverage of the initial construction and dedication of four Confederate monument. Discourse and narrative analyses of […]
The power of political journalists as deception detectors and how politicians reactivate voters’ truth-default
Abstract: Journalists serve as deception detectors for voters. Sometimes politicians refute journalists’ assertions. How do voters discern whom to believe? Based on cognitive sequences posited by truth-default theory (TDT), experiments tested voters’ reactions to alleged deceptiveness in a political news interview. In Study 1 (N = 209) perceptions of a politician being truthfully or falsely […]