People disproportionately find polls more credible when their preferred candidate is leading, according to a new study.
The study also implies that there are potential benefits of emphasizing polls’ methodological quality to mitigate people’s biases.
“On a number of fronts, it is clear that people believe what they want to believe,” says Josh Pasek, an associate professor of communication and media at the University of Michigan. “It’s depressing, but not really surprising, that they are willing to cherry pick which polls to trust in ways that support the narrative they want to hear.”
Pasek says the results pose a challenge for democratic legitimacy in a polarized society….