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False Alarm: The Truth about Political Mistruths in the Trump Era

Ethan Porter (George Washington University, Washington DC) Thomas J. Wood (Ohio State University)

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Cambridge University Press
03 October 2019
Politics & government; Regional government policies; Political control & freedoms; Public opinion & polls; Political corruption
Americans are not invulnerable to factual information. They do not 'backfire'; facts do not make them less accurate. Instead, they become more accurate, even when corrections target co-partisans. Corrections of fake news yield similar results. Among Republicans, Trump's misstatements are less susceptible to corrections than identical misstatements attributed to other Republicans. While we do not observe facts affecting attitudes, multiple instances of misinformation can increase approval of the responsible politician - but corrections can reduce approval by similar amounts. While corrections do not eliminate false beliefs, they reduce the share of inaccurate beliefs among subjects in this study nearly in half.
By:   Ethan Porter (George Washington University Washington DC), Thomas J. Wood (Ohio State University)
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 6mm
Weight:   146g
ISBN:   9781108705929
ISBN 10:   1108705928
Series:   Elements in American Politics
Pages:   80
Publication Date:   03 October 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
1. Introduction; 2. Facts, the backfire effect and the 2016 Election; 3. Fake news; 4. Is Trump different?; 5. Conclusion; 6. References.

Ethan Porter is Assistant Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, Washington DC. Thomas J. Wood is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the Ohio State University.

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