We tend to lose faith in people who lie to us. The trust that we form shatters the moment infidelity is seen in any person. However, this is not observed in the case of politicians.
According to a study conducted by Briony Swire- Thompson, a post-doctoral researcher at Northeastern University, it is observed that people tend to lose only a small amount of faith over politicians who lie. The trust is eroded but only by an ‘extremely small’ amount.
They conducted their survey on 1500 residents who wrote statements to the U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Democrat, or President Donald Trump, a Republican. Both Swire- Thompson and her colleagues received Trump’s statements from half of the group and Sanders statements from the other half.
In this study, the actual statements of Trump and Sanders were given and the residents would correct the false and misleading statements. Though the mixture of true and false statements was an unequal ratio, Swire-Thompson says, “Feelings towards politicians did not shift much, if at all, when corrections were encountered in the experiment.” According to the observation, the faith still remained and there was not much change.
Swire-Thompson and her colleagues were also curious whether party affiliation would affect the amount of faith in a candidate. In this study too, the results were the same for Democrats and Republicans.
The study was conducted by an international team which included Stephan Lewandowsky, head of Cognitive Psychology, Adam J. Berinsky, a professor of Political Science, Ullrich K. H. Ecker, associate professor at the school Psychological Science with Swire Thompson of the Northeastern.
To conclude Swire- Thompson says that there is a possibility that the candidates do not have much faith in the politicians, to begin with, hence there is none to lose. She feels that politicians have higher credibility scores, therefore, there is no change in the loyalty shown to them.