Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished ManuscriptAbstract: Political scientists are justifiably concerned about whether citizens are informed about politics. A less appreciated concern, however, is whether misinformed individual who learn the truth appropriately adjust their beliefs. I present evidence that discredited misinformation affects opinions. Participants opinions about a politician are negatively influenced by exposure to false political information that is understood to be bogus. This effect is partially inhibited by prompting memory based information processing, but prompting on-line processing also had the same result, which was unexpected. My findings suggest that belief perseverance is probably endemic to politics because this phenomenon is largely derived from motivated partisan reasoning and occurs consistently without outside interventions.
Publication Type: Paper AbstractReview Method: Peer ReviewedAbstract: In 2016, Amnesty International partnered with Forensic Architecture to produce a virtual three-dimensional model of the notorious Saydnaya Military Prison, located 30 km north of Damascus. At Saydnaya, an estimated 10,000-20,000 detainees are currently held in near darkness and enforced silence; their sense of their surroundings is largely limited to audible sounds – dripping water, clanking bowls, guards’ footsteps, and torture implements. With journalists and monitoring organizations barred from entry, the model relies on aerial satellite imagery and testimonies from former detainees to provide the first ever look into the complex. Significantly, acoustic and architectural modeling was combined in giving form to the prison. ‘Sound artefacts’ were used to trigger memories and recollections were matched with volume levels and ‘echo profiles,’ for instance, to infer dimensions and distances.
This paper is concerned with how presently inaccessible spaces are or might be made ‘accessible’ to researchers, civil society organizations, and general audiences. Taking the Saydnaya prison as its case study, it asks: how have modeling technologies been leveraged to produce knowledge of Saydnaya remotely? What are the contending claims over the truthfulness of the modeling process and truth-value of the model? How are the subjectivity of testimony and the goal of an objective model reconciled? And finally, how do these truth claims map onto the politics surrounding the Syrian conflict? To tackle this, the paper draws on and seeks to contribute to scholarship on truth and evidence in STS, forensic architecture, media theory, human rights, and recent Syrian history.