The previous post was about the failure of the ‘deficiency model’ of communication, which can be caricatured as the idea that people who believe incorrect things just need knowledge pills.
Sometimes, though, information does help. A popular example is that providing information to university students about the actual frequency of binge drinking, drug use, etc, can reduce their perception that ‘everyone is doing it’ and reduce actual risky behaviour.
So, it’s interesting to see these results from a US survey about same-sex marriage
Regular churchgoers (those who attend at least once or twice a month), particularly those who belong to religious groups that are supportive of same-sex marriage, are likely to over- estimate opposition for same-sex marriage in their churches by 20 percentage points or more.
- About 6-in-10 (59%) white mainline Protestants believe their fellow congregants are mostly opposed to same-sex marriage. However, among white mainline Protestants who attend church regularly, only 36% oppose allowing gay and lesbian people to legally marry while a majority (57%) actually favor this policy.
- Roughly three-quarters (73%) of Catholics believe that most of their fellow congregants are opposed to same-sex marriage. However, Catholics who regularly attend church are in fact divided on the issue (50% favor, 45% oppose).
For survey nerds, the sampling methodology and complete questionnaire are also linked from that web page.