Google Could Impact Next Year’s Election

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Google Could Impact Next Year’s Election
WDnetStudio / Pixabay

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.

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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.

The Search Engine Manipulation Effect