In the study, a total of 372 participants completed a survey on healthcare, education, and environmental policy issues. Afterwards, half of them were asked to simply verify their answers, whereas the other half was asked to also give underlying arguments for their views. However, they were unaware that some of their answers had been manipulated by the experimenters and shifted to the opposite side of the spectrum. Only about 50 % of these manipulated answers were corrected by the participants, and the rest were accepted as being their own.
"This is in line with previous results using choice blindness to influence ideological attitudes," says Petter Johansson, one of the researchers behind the study. "But a critical question of interest to us was whether this attitude shift would persist, despite us not giving any further arguments or encouragement for the new position."
End - Experiment - Participants - Survey - Questions
To investigate this, at the end of the experiment the participants were asked to complete a second survey with new questions, which also included the questions that were previously manipulated. They then returned after one full week to complete a follow up, again including the manipulated questions.
The results showed that when participants initially accepted the manipulated responses as their own, their attitudes later on shifted significantly in the direction of the manipulation. However, responses to questions that had not been manipulated kept the same position throughout all the questionnaires.
Interest - Time - Attitude - Change - Choice
"This is of particular interest given that it's the first time lasting attitude change from choice blindness has been shown. Importantly, it shows how false beliefs, and feedback about those beliefs, can powerfully shape the interpretation and memories about one's political opinions." Philip Pärnamets, researcher at Karolinska Institutet, points out.
"It seems that part of what it might mean to hold a political...
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