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Politicians – when you dodge the question, it makes you look dodgy

27 June 2017

Evasive politicians tend to pay for their slipperiness, according to new research in Journal of Language and Social Psychology.

To study the art of the dodge, David Clementson of Ohio State University created videos of a male politician with no obvious party affiliation (he was played by an actor, but the participants thought he was a real politician), who was quizzed on a number of topics by a news reporter.

In some versions of the video the politician played it entirely straight, but in others he dodged one of the questions, either by switching topics, or by giving a terse “no comment”.

Either evasion led to the politician being rated as less trustworthy, both by a young group of 200 American university students, and a more seasoned group of 200 US citizens with an average age of 57.

Read more on our Research Digest blog.

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