posted on Oct, 8 2008 @ 03:47 PM
It's a terrible but fascinating phenomenon. Great post.
When I was in college, I worked briefly as a telephone surveyor. Not for a reputable not-for-profit or university-affiliated group -- for a company
that was basically hired to spread disinformation via telephone surveys.
Each survey would take about 20 minutes, and was structured this way:
Introductory questions: how do you feel about [issue or candidate]
Step two questions: find out how much people know about a subject
Bulk of the interview: "Would your attitude about x change if you found out that [blatant lie]?"
Concluding questions: repeat the first questions, asking them how they feel now.
Examples included a politician who we smeared with hypotheticals about tax evasion, and clearcut logging practices (how would you feel about
clearcutting if it were found that it was beneficial to the environment?).
What terrified me was that almost everyone who made it through the whole interview changed their mind. Based on nothing more than a minimum-wage-slave
calling them and making unbacked-up, hypothetical, statements for fifteen minutes.
It is amazing how ready people (including myself, no doubt) are to believe what we hear, and how hard it is to convince us that something we have
heard is false.