University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Do People Actually Learn from Fact-Checking?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
12:15pm – 1:30pm

Storrs Campus
Oak 438

Colloquium Event

The Department of Political Science and the Graduate Student Senate Present

The Political Science Graduate Student Association Visiting Lecture Series

Do People Actually Learn from Fact-Checking? Evidence from a Longitudinal Study During the 2014 Campaign

Brendan Nyhan Department of Government Dartmouth College

Wednesday, April 20 12:15-1:30 Oak 438

Free and Open to the Public

About the Talk: While the use of fact-checking has grown over the last several elections, little is known about public attitudes toward the format or how exposure to it affects the public’s knowledge of controversial political issues. Cross-sectional survey data shows that users of fact-checking websites are better informed than we might otherwise expect and tend to view the practice favorably, but the inferences we can draw from these findings are limited because individuals self-select into fact-checking exposure. During the fall 2014 campaign, we randomly exposed a representative YouGov panel to receive fact-checking or placebo content over multiple survey waves. We find that fact-checking exposure significantly increases political knowledge in a post-election survey wave. We also find that educated and politically sophisticated people tend to report higher interest in fact-checking. However, Republicans feel less positively about the practice than Democrats.

About the Speaker: Brendan Nyhan is Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. His research, which focuses on political scandal and misperceptions about politics and health care, has been published or is forthcoming in journals including the American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Political Analysis, Political Behavior, Political Psychology, Pediatrics, Medical Care, Vaccine, Journal of Adolescent Health, and Social Networks. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at Duke University in 2009 and served as a RWJ Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan from 2009-2011. Learn more about Brendan and his research on the web at

Hosted by the Political Science Graduate Student Association (with support from the Graduate Student Senate) and Department of Political Science. Graduate students are invited to join Professor Nyhan for lunch after the talk. An RSVP for lunch is required and should be sent to Frank Griggs (

For more information, contact Danielle Wong (


Danielle Wong (

Political Science (primary), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Graduate Student Senate, UConn Master Calendar

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