While Germany’s Joseph Geobbels loved repeating a lie often, many unintentionally repeated that lie while disproving it. Big mistake. The following is a short sample of a story at Think Progress by Joe Romm, about his Kindle book “Language Intelligence.” Never forget the lesson here:
This post reviews why you shouldn’t repeat a myth you are trying to debunk.
President Obama’s failure to speak out repeatedly on the urgency of climate action is his biggest communications mistake. If our leaders don’t talk about an issue, it generally won’t become sufficiently salient for either the media or the public.
But Obama’s statement at the Democratic convention — responding to Romney’s mockery of his 2008 pledge of climate action — also contained a classic messaging mistake:
"And yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet – because climate change is not a hoax...."The social science literature is quite clear that repeating a myth is not the best way to debunk it. Indeed, there is evidence that it can actually end up promoting that myth.
Even more insidious, “when people find a claim familiar because of prior exposure but do not recall the original context or source of the claim, they tend to think that the claim is true,” as noted a 2005 journal article, “How Warnings about False Claims Become Recommendations,” which concluded ... Telling people that a consumer claim is false can make them misremember it as true.