When asked to guess what proportion of people in this country are immigrants, people on average greatly over-estimate the true number. But what do people who get the number much too high then say when the truth is pointed out to them?
Here’s what they say:
So over half stick with their wrong belief (hello, pessimism). But it’s a long way short of everyone saying ‘nah, my beliefs trump the evidence you’ve given me’ (hello, optimism).
It’s a good example of how the problem with people believing fake news can be hugely overdone. One quick wave of the truth on immigration (or indeed any matter) doesn’t kill a myth. Yet myths can be killed and attitudes can be changed – with consistent, skillful and sustained effort.
Taken from “How does politics affect perceptions of place? The effect of campaigns on perceptions about immigration” by Jack Bowers, Ed Fieldhouse, Jane Green and Cara Wong.