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Retraction Watch: Providing Information About Bad Information

"Can a single conversation change minds on divisive social issues, such as same-sex marriage?" the study's authors asked in its abstract. "A randomized placebo-controlled trial assessed whether gay or straight messengers were effective at encouraging voters to support same-sex marriage and whether attitude change persisted and spread to others in voters’ social networks."

The results? "[O]nly gay canvassers’ effects persisted in 3-week, 6-week, and 9-month follow-ups."

It was compelling enough stuff that in December 2014 the much-respected magazine Science published the study. One problem, though: aspects of the survey were…

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Last Updated : Friday, June 19, 2020