954 Danish local politicians were given tables comparing user satisfaction at two different schools, road providers or rehabilitation services. In all cases, one provider was clearly better than the other, if only slightly, with satisfaction rates working out to 84 percent versus 75 percent. In a control group, politicians were capable of spotting the better provider. However, when told that one provider was public and one private, prior attitudes towards privatization of public services kicked in. The study found that politicians who were given information that conformed with their ideology interpreted the information correctly 84-98 percent of the time.
The Role of Evidence in Politics: Motivated Reasoning and Persuasion among Politicians
Study Publication Date
British Journal of Political Science