Politicians, advertisers, and frontporch gossips know that merely repeating an opinion is one way to strengthen its grip on the public’s mind. A series of studies in the May 2007 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology demonstrates why: “Repetition of the same opinion gives rise to the impression that the opinion is widely shared – even if all of the repetitions come from the same single communicator,” says Kimberlee Weaver of Virginia Tech, the article’s lead author. Because seemingly...
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