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How did Donald Trump win the Republican nomination despite clear evidence that he had misrepresented or falsified key issues throughout the campaign?This literature about misperception was lucidly summarized by Christopher Graves, global chairman of Ogilvy Public Relations, in a February 2015 article in the Harvard Business Review, months before Trump surfaced as a candidate.This "confirmation bias" was outlined in a 1979 article by psychologist Charles Lord, cited by Graves.Trying to correct misperceptions can actually reinforce them, according to a 2006 paper by Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, also cited by Graves. Next Graves examined how attempts to debunk myths can reinforce them, simply by repeating the untruth. Graves noted that if people feel attacked, they resist the facts all the more.He cited a recent study by Nyhan and Reifler that examined why people misperceived three demonstrable facts: that violence in Iraq declined after President George W. Bush's troop surge; that jobs have increased during President Obama's tenure; and that global temperatures are rising.
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