Pictures are Worth Many Words: Effectiveness of Visual Communication in Dispelling the Rent–Control Misconception

51 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2022

See all articles by Jordi Brandts

Jordi Brandts

Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC) Barcelona

Isabel Busom

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

Cristina Lopez-Mayan

AQR-IREA Research Group; Universitat de Barcelona

Judith Panadés

Autonomous University of Barcelona

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

The popular belief that rent–control leads to an increase in the amount of affordable housingis in contradiction with ample empirical evidence and congruent theoretical explanations.It can therefore be qualified as a misconception. We present the results of a preregisteredon–line experiment in which we study how to dispel this misconception using a refutationalapproach both in a video and in a text format. Communication in a video format comes closerto how citizens are typically exposed to information. We find that the refutational video hasa significantly higher positive impact on revising the misconception than a refutational text,an effect that is driven by the departure from the misconception by individuals who initiallyagreed with it. The refutational text, in turn, does not have a significant impact relative toa non–refutational baseline text. Higher cognitive reflective ability positively affects the impacton beliefs of all interventions. Our research shows that visual communication effectivelyreduces the gap between scientific economic knowledge and the views of citizens.

Keywords: misconceptions, policy beliefs, communication, refutation, online experiments

Suggested Citation

Brandts, Jordi and Busom, Isabel and Lopez-Mayan, Cristina and Lopez-Mayan, Cristina and Panadés, Judith, Pictures are Worth Many Words: Effectiveness of Visual Communication in Dispelling the Rent–Control Misconception. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4052349 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4052349

Jordi Brandts (Contact Author)

Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC) Barcelona ( email )

UAB Campus
E-08193 Bellaterra
Spain

Isabel Busom

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona ( email )

Departament d'Economia Aplicada
Edifici B - Campus UAB
08193 Bellaterra
Spain
+34 935 81 22 06 (Phone)
+34 935 81 22 92 (Fax)

Cristina Lopez-Mayan

AQR-IREA Research Group

Barcelona
Spain

Universitat de Barcelona ( email )

Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585
Barcelona, 08007
Spain

Judith Panadés

Autonomous University of Barcelona ( email )

Plaça Cívica
Cerdañola del Valles
Barcelona, Barcelona 08193
Spain

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
3
Abstract Views
56
PlumX Metrics