S2E4: Political Psychology with Logan Clark

Podcast published date: 

May 07, 2021

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

 misinformation, framing, media, priming, people, frame, hearing, first amendment, issue, ideas, felt, pork rinds, amazon, experts, outlets, agenda, information, companies, committee, sounds

SPEAKERS

 Shawn Walker, Michael Simeone, and Logan Clark

 

Michael Simeone  00:00

This is Misinfo Weekly, a somewhat weekly program about misinformation in our time. Misinfo Weekly is made by the unit for data science and analytics at Arizona State University Library. 

 

Hello and welcome. Today is Friday, February 26, 2021. Today we're interviewing a guest. We have Logan Clark, who is a research analyst with the Global Security Initiative at Arizona State University. How you doing Logan?

 

Logan Clark  00:26

I'm well, how are you?

 

Michael Simeone  00:27

I think we're hanging in as best as possible. Shawn?

 

Shawn Walker  00:31

I'm here. That's that's I'm pandemic okay.

 

Michael Simeone  00:33

You're here to talk about the recent hearing. So this is today's Friday, this hearing happened on

 

Logan Clark  00:40

Wednesday.

 

Michael Simeone  00:41

Okay, so we had a hearing. And most of the time when people hear that there was a hearing in Congress, I'm not sure what level of interest that will generate. And if you were to say the House Committee on Energy and Commerce had a hearing on Wednesday of this week, I don't know if that would show up on many people's radars. But what was significant about this particular hearing that happened this week?

 

Logan Clark  01:01

So this particular hearing was titled "Fanning the Flames, Disinformation and Extremism in the Media."

 

Michael Simeone  01:10

Right. And now the audience understands that the puzzle is unlocked. Why we're talking about this hearing today?

 

Logan Clark  01:15

Why are we talking about Energy and Commerce? And the reason it was actually under Energy and Commerce is because it's related to broadcasters. And so the Energy and Commerce Committee has sort of oversight over issues relating to broadcast and internet. So, top Democrats in a committee sent letters to executives at major cable and internet companies. Think Comcast and Verizon and AT&T, about how to address misinformation on their services, and asking them why they continue to host news organizations that they know to be spreading misinformation. 

 

Michael Simeone  01:54

And so these are companies that I think a lot of folks might not recognize as the logos that show up on the television, or on YouTube, when you're watching the clips, or when you're watching the segments. These are the companies that own the companies that may be even own the companies.

 

Logan Clark  02:08

Exactly.

 

Shawn Walker  02:09

Do we have an example say, of some of these companies that they own, that they were specifically referring to in the hearing?

 

Logan Clark  02:15

So these companies don't own the media companies in question, they sell airtime to them, or they sell bandwidth to them online, for example. The companies that they took issue with by name in the letter were Fox News, NewsMax, and One American News Network.

 

Shawn Walker  02:38

So basically, they're talking to the pipes.

 

Michael Simeone  02:41

I don't know, Shawn it sounded like an opportunity for another metaphorical explanation of a complicated thing. So I think I think we should go with this, you're going with a pipe metaphor to help us understand. 

 

Shawn Walker  02:50

Well, the internet's a series of tubes, right? Invented by Al Gore.

 

Michael Simeone  02:53

I keep hearing that.

 

Logan Clark  02:57

So there's, it's somewhere between the internet service provider and the media company that's creating the content, sort of a middleman between the two.

 

Shawn Walker  03:13

So these are basically the distribution networks or the pipes that then would take the news content that these companies produce, that gets kind of served and then flows out to individuals, television sets, computers, other areas. So this is, they're asking, basically, why? Why are you delivering this flavor of water on your service to eat everyone's homes? To disguise...  

 

Logan Clark  03:38

Right. Hey, Verizon. Hey, AT&T. Why are you giving? Why are you making deals with Newsmax and One American News (OANN), if you know that they're spreading potentially dangerous misinformation?

 

Shawn Walker  03:53

So the question would be then is it actually agreed that Newsmax and or OANN are sources of mis just mis and disinformation? Was that? Is that the consensus of the committee? Or is that even that a controversial statement?

 

Logan Clark  04:06

It's not the consensus of the committee at all. And the hearing was entirely partisan. Republicans felt like they were being attacked, like their views were being censored by the Democrats on the committee. And of course, because of the way the house works, the majority party, the Democrats get to set a lot of the agenda for what this looks like. So when they send out the letters, they were entirely partisan. And so of course, the entire hearing ends up falling apart into disarray along partisan lines. Where one side feels like these ideas are dangerous, and the other side feels like their ideas are being maligned that they are being cast as the bad.

 

Michael Simeone  04:54

So it doesn't seem to me to be a surprise that we end a well intentioned committee meeting and Congress with some partisan rancor. And it sounds like from from what you're saying that, you know, what started as something that was meant to be interviews with experts escalated after some letters were written, asking some some very important people in very important companies about their relationship with very specific purveyors of misinformation that kind of touched off a conversation where one political side felt attacked, and another one felt like they had a just cause. Well, why? Why are OAN and Newsmax so polarizing? Why did kind of moving in that direction and trying to hold those kind of specific outlets accountable? Why did that get that kind of result? I don't know about speculating into what's in politician's head. I don't know if that's our bailiwick here on this podcast. But just in terms of the nature of what these media outlets are, why is that so sensitive?

 

Logan Clark  06:03

So that's really sensitive, because OANN and Newsmax have really blown up in terms of their popularity among more conservative members of.... Yikes.

 

Shawn Walker  06:22

Ultra right MAGA crowd is what you thinking maybe?

 

Logan Clark  06:27

Yeah, I mean. Yeah, I'm getting there with a MAGA crowd. 

 

Shawn Walker  06:33

This is like a far right. I tried to not put words in your mouth, but like, because... 

 

Logan Clark  06:38

They are highly, Yes. They almost seem to pride themselves on being the most extreme right wing voices on broadcast media.

 

Shawn Walker  06:51

It's good way to say it. 

 

Michael Simeone  06:52

Yeah, I think that squares with a lot of the things that we've observed. I mean, I think I think that squares with a lot of things we've observed over the past year, and your point is particularly interesting about how they have become more popular very recently. And so the spotlight is kind of on them, not only because of, maybe their content, but possibly because of their novelty.

 

Logan Clark  07:15

Absolutely, especially after Fox News, called the election for Joe Biden and called in, in our case, Arizona, earlier than any other news organization for Joe Biden. And so, it almost felt to some of the conservatives in the country, you know, from what I've seen on Twitter and other social media sites, that they almost felt betrayed by their number one purveyor of conservative voice to news. And so they went elsewhere, to find people who had views that were similar to their own.

 

Michael Simeone  07:54

Okay, so holding up like a holding on to the election conspiracy idea, resonating a little bit more with these ideas, that the country had been so corrupt, that nothing could be fair, after a certain.

 

Logan Clark  08:08

Yes. And I also think that a big part of that is that the voices on Fox became less and less willing to go more and more extreme, especially as the President and the people around him, were holding on to these conspiracies around in the election.

 

Michael Simeone  08:27

Okay, so, so to summarize, it sounds like this committee meeting went incredibly well, in being sarcastic, of course, but it sounds like there was, there was a we had some experts, we wanted to target something that seemed like a really big pain point when it comes to misinformation. And then that touched off some controversy. Wherein, you know, people suddenly could not agree on something that feels like on its face is a very important issue that isn't very partisan. An area that you work in is political psychology. And so, you know, we're talking about a hearing that probably not very many people tuned into while it was happening. And so the only way this committee hearing exists, like lots of things, Is in the media coverage that people encounter. That is not the actual event itself. So from the perspective of political psychology, what is interesting to you about the way that this hearing was covered and kind of made real to viewers around the United States?

 

Logan Clark  09:33

I think there are two main things that we can dive into, to examine the effect of the media coverage of this hearing on an average viewer and those two concepts are agenda setting and framing.

 

Michael Simeone  09:49

So those are terms that I think people might have heard a lot like framing. I feel like has, has haunted people who have have tried to be kind of politically literate for a long time. Let's start with framing. From from your point of view, when you use the term framing, what are you talking about?

 

Logan Clark  10:07

For our conversation today, I'm going to be using framing in the perspective of really issue framing and thematic framing. So there are a lot of different kinds of framing that you can talk about in political psychology. There are very narrow definitions, and they're very broad definitions of framing. And so when I talk about framing, today, I'm talking about the lens through which the media is telling a story. So that the person who is reading it or watching it, walks away and says the most important aspect of that story is the frame.

 

Michael Simeone  10:50

So like, what to pay attention to, amidst all the data out there about an event, it's kind of like, here are the things to pay attention to. Did I get that right?

 

Logan Clark  11:00

So not just the things that you want to pay attention to, but actually the sort of labor of that information. So when we're talking about COVID, there's a lot of numbers, a lot of data that gets thrown around, you know, the law of large numbers comes into play and whether or not people can understand even fathom the massiveness of it. And so because that's really hard to grasp, the media starts telling a story in terms of this is an economic problem. And here are all of the economic issues that have been caused by COVID. Or this is a public health problem, here are all the public health issues we should be concerned about with COVID.

 

Shawn Walker  11:46

This is a double edged sword, there's positive and negatives of framing, right by framing an event that makes it digestible to the public or non experts. But also this framing can have biases, or just by boiling something down, of course, you're missing a lot of the nuance in it. This is a very important job of the press. But it's also a very complicated, complex process. And when there's disagreement around the issue that I imagine there's disagreement around the framing too then right?

 

Logan Clark  12:13

One-hundred percent. And I agree with you completely that this can be used in a positive way. Framing can be used by the media to shine light on a part of an issue that people weren't paying attention to previously. Earlier, I was talking about the public health versus economic frame that we see a lot of COVID stories in. But journalists have also been able to make the, you know, the racial divide in the United States. A frame as well, for this issue. So by using a particular frame, you can call out information that people might be missing otherwise.

 

Michael Simeone  12:55

Your’re...it seems like you were careful to point out that the act of framing itself isn't necessarily duplicitous or deceptive just in its nature, just because it sounds like it's baked in the narrative.

 

Logan Clark  13:08

So for most of the media coverage that was readily available, that is not behind a paywall. It was actually framed as a First Amendment and censorship issue. Which is not what the original effort for this hearing was supposed to be about. Right? It was supposed about, it was supposed to be about whether or not you know, there were things that we could do to hold the purveyors of misinformation accountable.

 

Michael Simeone  13:39

And when you say the media, did that frame kind of hold across all major kind of broadcast outlets? Or did you observe any kind of variation and how it was framed and you just saw the majority of it? Or was there more of a predictable political way that this frame tended to circulate around? What, What's your take on how widespread that frame ended up?

 

Logan Clark  14:02

Despite my best efforts, I didn't find a lot of coverage on this for broadcast media. So the CNNs, the Fox's, which is really interesting, because Fox was a named entity. They may have put more out there since I looked, but I did not see anything specific from Fox. So a lot of it was print publications, online publications, and aside from the obviously, partisan outlets, sort of the more middle of the road, politically wonky, policy focused outlets, and then also run of the mill, local outlets that are just carrying whatever they get on their wire, did tend to focus more on the issue as a First Amendment issue.

 

Michael Simeone  14:52

Got it. So is this a Do you think this is a case of the members of Congress who argued this as a First Amendment issue just being very successful in their communication and having the press respond to it in a favorable way? Or do you think that there was a first mover in the press, and everyone else kind of followed suit from there?

 

Logan Clark  15:12

So even the outlets who were covering it before the hearing even happened, were already framing it as a First Amendment issue. And whether or not it was going to be about censorship. And so when you've got that already spinning in political media, politicians see that the you know, the iron is hot, and they strike.

 

Michael Simeone  15:36

Interesting. Who do you think was a first mover? in kind of preemptively establishing that frame? Do you..Is there one outlet or a handful of outlets? Or what would characterize the first movers on that on that frame?

 

Logan Clark  15:48

It clearly resonated with people on the, you know, the right side of the political spectrum.

 

Shawn Walker  15:54

So can we think about this first amendment framing potentially as a bit like a backdraft, you know, you kind of burn out a lot of these sort of issues that will come up preemptively burn out some of the issues that might come up during the hearing, as already kind of putting in the stake of First Amendment. So then you can just keep attributing back to this First Amendment , sort of reasoning and logic, then you don't have to address the larger issues of mis and disinformation. You can kind of like a sidestep, maybe?

 

Logan Clark  16:22

Essentially, the goal of a frame is to tell us what is the context in which we should be thinking about an issue? What is the most important and salient part of this topic that I need to come up with an opinion about? And so in this case, it was framed, as well,  Are you pro First Amendment ? Or are you pro censorship? Is how it shook out.

 

Shawn Walker  16:47

So does this spectrum between First Amendment and censorship? Is this allow any discussion of misinformation? Or what's the solution to mis and disinformation with respect to this First Amendment , lens or framing?

 

Logan Clark  17:02

So I think the experts actually had some good stuff to say about that. That's one of the interesting parts of this hearing. Is that, you know, the CEO of Verizon wasn't testifying. We had media experts and First Amendment  experts who were testifying. And one of the things that one of the experts said was don't book liars. If you know that somebody has a history of spreading sketchy information, don't book them, even though they may help your ratings. Don't ask them for a quote, even though they may up your click count, so that people get more eyeballs on your ads.

 

Michael Simeone  17:38

And that ruffled some feathers.

 

Logan Clark  17:39

It did.

 

Michael Simeone  17:40

Soledad O'Brien, you know, was under attack by the New York Post, in a story that was trying to showcase the number of times or alleged that she fell for misinformation. 

 

Logan Clark  17:50

Correct? 

 

Michael Simeone  17:51

Yeah, interesting. 

 

Logan Clark  17:52

The news organizations themselves have to make really hard decisions about who they book. And it's ultimately their responsibility according to these experts to determine who is the best person on their shows, or who the best person that they're interviewing as experts.

 

Michael Simeone  18:12

This is interesting, let's get back to this priming thing. Because it sounds like if you're, if you're just keyed into the committee, then you you're kind of missing the point that there's an important debate going on in the committee. But the other debate that you should be paying attention to is how the committee how the actual event is framed, as you mentioned, like as a First Amendment.

 

Logan Clark  18:27

Mmhmm

 

Michael Simeone  18:28

But you also mentioned priming, which seems like another one of those things that you pay attention to, that a lot of times, you know, if you're if you're watching something like this, or just following it casually, you might be fixated on some other aspect of it, like what so and so said. But you know, you're calling attention to these things that you might not pay attention to, casually, but that you can maybe pay attention to later on, or if you... 

 

Logan Clark

Right.

 

Michael Simoene

If once they're kind of on your radar. So this idea of priming, what's going on there?

 

Logan Clark  18:59

So, so priming is essentially a theory of cognition that says, By being exposed to an idea, or a photo, even, so you can do priming in a lot of different ways. What ends up happening is your brain calls up that information to make sense of it. That's called accessibility. So now because it's been called up most recently, it's like, your documents on your computer. The stuff that you did most recently comes up when you look to open a file. In much the same way accessibility works so that if I'm interested in a in a story, and it's about the First Amendment. The next story I see I'm already going to be primed to to be thinking about this in terms of the First Amendment and freedom of speech, even if that's not what the story is about at all. And so that's I think what you're...What we're talking about here as far as by putting out media, or by putting out reports that have been framed in a particular way. Now you're telling people to think about this and similar issues, because it gets called up because you've now been primed before the fact.

 

Michael Simeone  20:19

This is much more difficult to follow in some ways, in the sense that, you know, if, if I'm going to be eating breakfast and reading the paper, and I want to follow whatever happened at this, at this hearing, rather than being interested in the processes themselves, I should be, some things at play are just what's available most immediately, in my mind, and how is that changing my interpretation of these events? And then also, how is this event being written about at all such that it's calling attention to things? So it sounds like there's a lot of layers here between me and the actual thing that happened. And each one of those layers is going to change my interpretation.

 

Logan Clark  20:58

And we haven't even gotten to Agenda setting yet.

 

Michael Simeone  21:02

Okay, so that that's another. Now we're just now we're juggling, right? 

 

Logan Clark

Yes. 

 

MIchael Simoene

And that where this is becoming more complex. So not only not only do we have to endure the complications of our own bureaucracy of government and the complications of the actual issue itself, what's agenda setting then?

 

Logan Clark  21:23

So agenda setting is the decision that elites and the media make when deciding how to use their column inches, their airtime, or their Twitter characters. Right. So there's only 24 hours in a day, there are only so many things that you can cover at once, there are only so many things you can read or watch as an individual human being. And so the media, just like they try and synthesize these complex issues by giving them an organizing principle, we might call framing that organizing principle that makes it easier to put all of that information in context. Agenda setting is then deciding what the most important issues are. So, not how to think about them, but to make them in the forefront of what we think is a problem, or a success.

 

Shawn Walker  22:18

So why is agenda setting so important? Is that who pays attention to what the news media is publishing then?

 

Logan Clark  22:25

So you'll actually hear that in some fringe media, right? So if you listen to Radio Sputnik, for example, or even some of the the hyper partisan media outlets in the United States. They'll say, the mainstream media doesn't want you to know this, or the mainstream media would never cover this. And here's why. So generally, we just, it's an unknown unknown, for the for the mass majority of Americans.

 

Shawn Walker  22:56

The agenda-setting power of the media, then also can expand or potentially limit the policy solutions, and the issues that come up for policy solutions. Because of that coverage. If we're over covering, say, for example, the number of murders that are happening. So if we're continually covering murders, but the number of murders are going down in the United States, we still have a public perception that the number of murders are increasing, and that that's something that the government must address. Even if the numbers are going down, that perception of policymakers and the public, are action must take place on that. And you know, the reverse is true. If there's a problem, it's not being covered, it's much harder for the public to focus on it, and therefore, politicians who want votes and want to be responsive to their constituents. So there's a bit of a symbiotic relationship between this.

 

Logan Clark  23:47

Oh, yeah, absolutely. The choices that the media make to cover specific issues more than others, or instead of others. Those choices, tell Americans what issues are important and what what policy issues they should be paying attention to. And what they should be writing to their senators and their representatives about. And how, you know, what are the things they should be voting for? On ballot initiatives? Right?

 

Michael Simeone  24:18

Like a lot of things that you've mentioned today. These are impactful things to pay attention to. And they're value laden, but they're not necessarily bad in and of themselves. What you're saying reminds me of oftentimes how people speak about biases, where someone will say this is bias, then the answer is well, of course, it's bias. There's bias everywhere. So biases are, are not necessarily good or bad, even though they're always going to have some impact on values or their value laden. What do you make then all in all of this hearing, the way that agenda setting, framing and priming all work together?

 

Logan Clark  25:00

With respect to this hearing, agenda setting, priming and framing are really important to understand. Because it's not the kind of thing that gets a lot of coverage, and has a lot of different perspectives that us Can, can take in and weigh them against your own values and weigh them against your own life experience, and come up with a truly informed opinion. Because of this, and because we live in such a saturated media environment, where anything can be at your fingertips in milliseconds. The answer may not be, as one of the panel experts suggested, more speech, the answer to misinformation is not necessarily more speech, because it's just going to keep polluting the information environment, to the point where people don't know what's real. And what's fake.

 

Michael Simeone  26:05

More speech as a corrective?

 

Logan Clark  26:07

It was given in the context of the marketplace of ideas, right with this assumption that the best idea will somehow win out. But if we're not physically capable, cognitively, of taking in every single bit of information about everything we're expected to make a decision about. And we have to continue to rely on the media to synthesize these really important issues for us. And it doesn't mean we need more channels to spread more ideas, it's that we really need to pinpoint the best way forward with the media environment we currently have. So there's some really hard questions to answer.

 

Michael Simeone  26:58

And it sounds like this marketplace of ideas. Comment, is really interesting, because it seems like there's a confusion of metaphors. And now in this podcast, you know all about confusing metaphors. But in this case, we have a marketplace of ideas, metaphor. But then there's also this idea of there being noise. And it sounds like on the one hand, there's this idea that there's a marketplace of ideas, and competition is a good thing. And the more the better. And on the other end, so if you frame it, if I want to use a handy concept for today, right? If we, if we want to stage this all as as, as more like capitalism, or, or, or healthy competition for economic prosperity, then we think that more is better. But if we want to, if we think about it a different way, if we think about the limitations of you know how much information people can process, then it sounds a lot more like noise. And noise starts to sound a lot like the kind of confusing disinforming outcomes, that some of that toxic effect of misinformation that you mentioned, is really all about.

 

Logan Clark  28:06

And I don't know that the marketplace of ideas is a good metaphor, because ideas and policies and voting, right, it's all value laden, it's not like choosing Coke versus Pepsi. Right, we are seeking out ideas based on our sense of identity, on who we are. And so when we talk about frames, what are the values that those brains are trying to pull out? Because they're so closely tied to our beliefs about ourselves and just society?

 

Michael Simeone  28:46

Yeah, and I think, thinking about our marketplace of ideas, if you look at people's Amazon shopping history, that's what people do with a marketplace. I'm not sure if we want people doing the same thing with a marketplace of ideas. But that's really the place that that we want to go.

 

Logan Clark  29:00

Right. And since so much of it is free, right. But a lot of it is also paywalled. And so this marketplace, where you're where you're trying to put better or more information against itself, free is always going to win. And we have to ask ourselves more questions about that particular media model too.

 

Shawn Walker  29:22

Oh, with, you know, Amazon, and the many, many products they offer. We have a great search engine interface to access, you know, access that content and sort it for us to potentially learn what we like and to surface that with this idea of marketplace of ideas. It's just basically like a pile that were like an avalanche of information that we then have to sort through which, you know. As you said, this is not our full time job. I mean, it might be our full time job. But this is not the full time job of most people in the public.

 

Michael Simeone  29:54

Yeah, I think sometimes it's easy to take for granted how much intellect, how many resources and how much time it takes to be able to allow anyone to really navigate what's on amazon.com. Or really anything else right search in general. And so yeah, it's it's pretty daunting if our, it's kind of cooked into the way we think about lots of information is that we can just glide around it unproblematically. Well, we can never do that no matter what. But if we're, if that's our assumption about a lot of information that may drive us to really say, well, what's wrong with having more, more information that can't hurt. But Shawn, back to your point. I mean, there is no perfect way to navigate a whole lot of information. Even when you have the most powerful technology companies on earth trying to solve the problem, let alone offloading it onto an individual consumer. That sounds pretty tough.

 

Logan Clark  30:43

And even if you know what you're looking for, because so much of it is unconscious, right? We're not consciously understanding where our emotions are coming from. Right? We're not consciously putting things in our memories. That's all happening without us doing anything.

 

Michael Simeone  31:04

I thought I needed bicycle parts, but I just bought pork rinds again.

 

Logan Clark  31:09

That, I that's just good marketing.

 

Michael Simeone  31:12

I can't help what happens when I go on Amazon.

 

Logan Clark  31:15

Can anybody?

 

Michael Simeone  31:16

I'm not a rational. 

 

Logan Clark  31:18

Cannot be held accountable for my actions.

 

Shawn Walker  31:21

I think Amazon monopolizing our list of examples also makes the point in the marketplace of ideas. There are so many other sites that you could purchase the same pork rinds or bike parts from, but we continually use Amazon as that gatekeeper. You know, we could we could then also think of Amazon with through this lens of agenda setting priming, right? I mean, you've probably saw a whole bunch of ads about pork rinds. And somehow now you don't know why, but you're hungry, and you want pork rinds instead of bike parts. So we can look at Amazon through that same lens. Even in the area of commerce. We don't have a free market of purchasers, we have behemoths that can stand in the way and that's weak. We keep going back to Amazon, because it works. We keep going back to Google, because it works or potentially Bing, unless you're Michael, we keep going back to those search engines because they work and help us sort through this, right.

 

Michael Simeone  32:16

Yeah, and then they'll say that no one should ever buy bicycle parts on Amazon, you should always support your local. Yeah, don't don't use my don't use my example, although I do buy pork rinds. But don't use my my rhetorical example as advice about where to get your bicycle parts.

 

Logan Clark  32:33

And when we talk about the marketplace of ideas, when we talk about news organizations, you don't have three, the three big broadcasters sitting in the White House press room anymore, right? You have dozens of media outlets who are represented, we're all going to tell the story just a little bit differently. I can buy the same mug, from Walmart, or from Amazon, or Target or a local store down the street. It's the same thing, it's the same product, I'm not gonna get the same product from every single media organization I go to. And that's why framing and priming and agenda setting are all important. Right? When you notice that a particular media organization is covering something, and another media organization isn't. You can ask yourself, why? What are they filling that gap? What do they think is important that this other one doesn't? And you can ask yourself, why is this media organization telling this story as a free speech issue, and this other organization is telling the story as a public safety issue.

 

Michael Simeone  33:45

But what I, what I really value in some of the things that you've mentioned today is that consumers seem like, seemed like they would benefit very much by accounting for their own biases. And those biases can be introduced. You know, you share your biases, they're not just yours, you inherit them, or you come into contact with them. And that they're these different ways to kind of acquire your biases through priming, or through framing, or through agenda setting, which, you know, as we've said, throughout this conversation, none of these things are necessarily nefarious. But they do affect what we think and feel and what our ultimate interpretive processes.

 

Logan Clark  34:24

Yes, I think that's a great way to sum all of this up. People are storytellers, and we need to tell each other stories. So how can we do it better?

 

Michael Simeone  34:36

For anyone interested in political psychology or who's just getting started in the subject? Is there a book that you would recommend or a website that you would recommend for somebody who wants to pursue this interest just a little bit further.

 

Logan Clark  34:49

If I, if I had to start somewhere? The one article that every political psychology student has to read is by Philip Converse From 1964, it's old, it's long. It's hefty. But it is worth it. Because all of the research that has been done since then, is basically looking at whether or not Converse was right about a lot of things. And that's about partisanship and media, and how we are led by elites to believe the things that we believe, and how we segment ourselves in society, and how we identify ourselves and what those identities mean for the way that we move in the world and make political and policy decisions. So that's where I would start, not necessarily to say that, you know, Converse was right about everything, but it is the starting point, that we all have to read.

 

Michael Simeone  35:48

Yeah, I think that's a great place to end we can put a link or the citation information for the article referred to in the show notes. But thank you for joining us today. And thank you for the conversation about chatting a little bit more light on what goes into both making and interpreting the media that tends to be so influential, especially in the context of misinformation. And thank you all for listening this week. be thoughtful and be well.

 

Logan Clark  36:18

Thank you so much for having me. It was a lot of fun. 

 

Michael Simeone  36:21

For questions or comments, use the email address datascience@asu.edu. And to check out more about what we're doing, try library.asu.edu/data.