Reuters has published a review of a study that will be filed under the "old news" heading at the White House. The article entitled "Gossip More Powerful than Truth" simply describes the mechanism that has allowed this administration and Rupert Murdock to manipulate Americans for years. Apparently, most people toss evidence to the side when forming opinions, instead basing their decisions on "... what they hear through the grapevine even if they have evidence to the contrary."
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany found that, when playing a game in which participants had to decide with whom to corporate, players often made decisions that were contrary to their best interests. Players avoided working with participants who were rumored to be "nasty misers" or "scrooges" even if they were also presented with a list of these players' past decisions that proved them to be ideal partners who cooperate generously. Ralf Sommerfeld, who led the study, explains that "Rationally, if you know what the people did, you should care, but [the study's participants] still listened to what others said... They even reacted on [the rumor] if they knew better." Sommers comes to the sad conclusion that people are prone to base their decisions on unfounded rumors even when they have access to solid facts. Meanwhile, Rupert Murdock yawns and wonders if a "is the earth round" study is next on the docket.
In light of this information, perhaps we liberals and feminists should change our tactics.
Hey, did you know that failing to comply with the Geneva Conventions causes erectile dysfunction? It's true... Alberto Gonzales hasn't had a successful romantic interlude in eight years!
Have you heard that feminists are better lovers? (Actually, this isn't just a rumor - it's true)