Sponsored Awards

SAPA Excellence in Behavioral Science Award

Inquiry into a possible correlation between political orientation and identification of misinformation

Behavioral and Social Sciences
Christian Beenken Alec Shepp Maximilian Romero

Elyse Wexler

"Our project was determined to investigate the existence of a correlation between the political orientation of an individual and their ability to identify misinformation in news sources. Increasingly, political divides across the world seem to be almost differences in perception of reality rather than mere differences in opinion; if there is some correlation between political opinion and the ability to identify and acknowledge misinformation in news, then perhaps news organizations can better understand how to best present their information in a way most conducive to informing public discourse and opinion, working to prevent these differences in understanding. Overall, we found some correlation between moderate political opinions and a better ability to identify misinformation in written news sources, conversely with left-wing opinions and a better ability to identify true information. Ultimately, these conclusions mean little without further analysis, particularly with a much larger sample size, but they highlight the importance of such research and the deep implications it has on the present and future of interactions between individuals and information disseminating methods like the news media, which ultimately guides public policymaking."

Project presentation

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Lab journal excerpts

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Research paper

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