Google is a powerful tool almost everyone uses every day for a variety of tasks, but could the search giant use its position to influence or downright rig the upcoming election? Respected psychologist Robert Epstein thinks it is possible.
Google and the power of persuasion
Epstein shared his findings from a recent study in the latest publication of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the study, he teamed up with Ronald Robertson to create Kadoodle (a fake search engine), which was used to test out different search results and the possible effects of influencing people to vote a certain way.
It's no secret that this year has been a volatile one for the markets. The S&P 500 is down 18% year to date, while the Nasdaq Composite is off by 27% year to date. Meanwhile, the VIX, a key measure of volatility, is up 49% year to date at 24.72. However, it has spiked as Read More
He explained how the experiment played out. The participants were given three options to choose from: Candidate A, Candidate B or neither. They were then given descriptions of the two candidates and asked how much they liked or respected those candidates. Later, they were allowed to do online research on them with the Kadoodle search engine. The results indicated that the candidate with the most favorable search rankings then scored better on trust and voting preference.