Why do we fall for fake news?

S. Shyam Sundar, Pennsylvania State University In recent weeks, the amount of online fake news that circulated during the final months of the presidential race is coming to light, a disturbing revelation that threatens to undermine the country’s democratic process. We’re already seeing some real-world consequences. After fake news stories […] Read more »

The Roots of Implicit Bias

… As new research from our laboratory suggests, implicit bias is grounded in a basic human tendency to divide the social world into groups. In other words, what may appear as an example of tacit racism may actually be a manifestation of a broader propensity to think in terms of […] Read more »

Overcoming ‘End-Point Bias’: Liberals, Fox News and Arctic Sea Ice Trends

“End-point bias” is a well-known psychological tendency to interpret a recent short-term fluctuation as a reversal of a long-term trend. When scientists reported a significant increase in the extent of Arctic sea ice in 2013, a FoxNews.com story evoked end-point bias by contrasting the historically low previous year with the […] Read more »

Donald Trump has every reason to keep white people thinking about race

There’s a growing body of research in political science and political psychology suggesting that even very mild messages or cues that touch on race can alter political opinions. The landmark book on the subject is Princeton professor Tali Mendelberg’s 2001 book The Race Card, which marshaled a wide array of […] Read more »

The Price of Certainty

It’s alarming to see how polarized politics have become in the United States. The wider the gulf grows, the more people seem to be certain that the other side is wrong. Certainty can be a dangerous thing. Two years ago, I met the social psychologist Arie Kruglanski while researching a […] Read more »

Donald Trump and the rise of white identity in politics

Many political commentators credit Donald Trump’s rise to white voters’ antipathy toward racial and ethnic minorities. However, we believe this focus on racial resentment obscures another important aspect of racial thinking. In a study of white Americans’ attitudes and candidate preferences, we found that Trump’s success reflects the rise of […] Read more »

If my candidate is behind, the poll must be biased

… There’s evidence that political partisans, like sports fans, discount or dismiss information that challenges their favored candidates or ideas, and even accept conspiracy theories that support their views. In a survey, we found evidence that ordinary citizens are more likely to believe in the accuracy of polls that show […] Read more »