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Belief in the Holocaust: Effects of Personality and Propaganda
Linda M. Yelland and William F. Stone
Vol. 17, No. 3 (Sep., 1996), pp. 551-562
Published by: International Society of Political Psychology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3791968
Page Count: 12
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The effects of Holocaust denial propaganda were investigated in two experimental studies with college student subjects. Subjects in both experiments read excerpts from either (a) a denial document, (b) a factual description of Auschwitz, or (c) a control document, after which they responded to a Holocaust belief scale. Reading the denial propaganda lowered Holocaust belief scores. Also, personality differences in susceptibility to denial propaganda were found. In both studies, authoritarians who read the denial propaganda believed less that the Holocaust had actually happened, and those high in humanism believed more strongly in the Holocaust, over all conditions. Additionally, Study 2 revealed that subjects high in interpersonal trust were more influenced by the denial propaganda than those low in trust. Over all conditions, low ethnocentrics, as well as those knowledgeable about the World War II period, believed more strongly that the Holocaust had actually happened than did their opposite numbers.
Political Psychology © 1996 International Society of Political Psychology