Research: 3 in 4 US adults can discern real political news headlines from fake ones
Has the death of truth been greatly exaggerated? New research suggests people in the U.S. are, overall, good at identifying true political news headlines from fake ones — but there are some stark socioeconomic differences. PLUS, 3 tips for covering political misinformation online.
Pop quiz: Which of these headlines appeared atop a real news story?
(A) Zelenskyy pleads to US Congress: ‘We need you right now’
(B) Biden signed bill to mandate climate change curriculum in all K-8 classrooms
If you answered A, you’re correct — and not alone.
About 3 in 4 adults in the U.S. can discern real political news headlines from fake ones, finds a new paper, “Is Journalistic Truth Dead? Measuring How Informed Voters Are About Political News,” forthcoming in the American Economic Review.
The findings are based on a dozen quizzes completed by a total of nearly 8,000 participants representative of the national population, conducted by Charles Angelucci, an assistant professor of applied economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Andrea Prat, an economics professor at Columbia University, from June 2019 to March 2022.