Political scientists use experimental methods to study cause-and-effect relationships in politics. Sometimes these approaches involve exposing people to false information about their political reality. Matthew Barnfield argues that this practice of misinformation is not only unethical, but also an ineffective way of learning about the political world
ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Government, University of Essex
Matthew researches political psychology, political behaviour, and public opinion.
In particular, his research addresses the political psychology of the future: how do citizens form beliefs about the future, how do these beliefs affect their attitudes and behaviour, and why does that matter?
Matthew’s PhD research focused on the ‘bandwagon effect’ and related issues involving opinion polls, electoral expectations and voting behaviour.
He has also studied psychological questions beyond the realm of politics, including vaccine and public health attitudes.
Alongside his substantive empirical work, Matthew also writes about research practice and issues in the philosophy of science.