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Misinformation and the Currency of Democratic Citizenship
Scholars have documented the deficiencies in political knowledge among American citizens. Another problem, misinformation, has received less attention. People are misinformed when they confidently
Citizens, Knowledge, and the Information Environment
In a democracy, knowledge is power. Research explaining the determinants of knowledge focuses on unchanging demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. This study combines data on the public’s
The Question(s) of Political Knowledge
Political knowledge is a central concept in the study of public opinion and political behavior. Yet what the field collectively believes about this construct is based on dozens of studies using
Estimating the Causal Effects of Media Coverage on Policy‐Specific Knowledge
Policy facts are among the most relevant forms of knowledge in a democracy. Although the mass media seem like an obvious source of policy-specific information, past research in this area has been
The Political Environment and Citizen Competence
care reform, we find that performance depends heavily on environmental conditions. A combination of general information with increased motivation to act responsibly improves aggregate performance. An
Are Survey Experiments Externally Valid?
Researchers use survey experiments to establish causal effects in descriptively representative samples, but concerns remain regarding the strength of the stimuli and the lack of realism in
Partisan Perceptual Bias and the Information Environment
Perceptual bias occurs when beliefs deviate from reality. Democrats and Republicans are thought to be especially susceptible to this type of biased-information processing. And yet we know little
Internet News
The Internet has changed the political world, but its effect on media usage patterns is not well understood. In particular, previous research suggests no clear answer to the question of whether the
Issue Framing and Engagement: Rhetorical Strategy in Public Policy Debates
Conventional wisdom and scholarly research indicate that to win a policy debate political actors should frame the issue strategically—that is, selectively highlight considerations that mobilize
Survival of the Fittest: Rhetoric During the Course of an Election Campaign
Despite the tradition of studying campaign effects, we know little about the rhetorical strategies of candidates. This study speculates about the types of appeals that incumbents and challengers find