Statements from people who speak against their apparent interests carry a great deal of power.
…In my experiment, I randomized exposure to corrections from different sources — basically I varied the political identity of the person presenting “the truth.”
…I found that while corrections by authoritative and Democratic sources had some effect on changing minds about the truth concerning death panels, these corrections quickly faded. By contrast, when corrections came from a Republican politician, respondents of both parties — Democrats and Republicans alike — were less likely to accept the death panel rumor, even after a period of time (though the power of the correction did fade somewhat).
My experiment demonstrates that when it comes to matters of fact, it is statements from people who speak against their apparent interests — in this case Republicans talking about policies advanced by a Democratic president and Congress — that are most surprising and have the most power.
…Initial reports on last night’s events may have had something of a “he said, she said” feel, with conflicting accounts from Gianforte’s campaign and Jacobs. But relatively soon a local Fox News crew confirmed Jacobs’s account, stating that Gianforte jumped on top of Jacobs and began punching him.