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Truth and bias: Biased findings (Political Behaviour Colloquium)

Dates:
  • Tue 26 May 2020 17.15 - 18.15
  Add to Calendar 2020-05-26 17:15 2020-05-26 18:15 Europe/Paris Truth and bias: Biased findings (Political Behaviour Colloquium)

Differences in cognitive styles and information processing across ideological groups have been a recurring theme in political science and psychology. The recent debate about fake news has brought attention to the question whether US liberals and conservatives differ in how they evaluate the truth of information. Researchers have asked, first, whether one group is better at discerning true from false information (truth discernment), and second, whether liberals/conservatives are driven to different degrees by the congruence of information with their ideological dispositions (assimilation bias). The paradigmatic design to study these question requires selecting or constructing informational stimuli. As I show empirically with two robustness tests and one extended replication of previous studies, this selection/construction necessarily affects the (a)symmetries that researchers find. I claim that when there is no justification whether the selection/construction represents some universe of real-world information, we should be wary of results about asymmetries. Ideally, studies must find ways to randomly sample stimuli from the target population of information. 

Zoom meeting - DD/MM/YYYY
  Zoom meeting -

Differences in cognitive styles and information processing across ideological groups have been a recurring theme in political science and psychology. The recent debate about fake news has brought attention to the question whether US liberals and conservatives differ in how they evaluate the truth of information. Researchers have asked, first, whether one group is better at discerning true from false information (truth discernment), and second, whether liberals/conservatives are driven to different degrees by the congruence of information with their ideological dispositions (assimilation bias). The paradigmatic design to study these question requires selecting or constructing informational stimuli. As I show empirically with two robustness tests and one extended replication of previous studies, this selection/construction necessarily affects the (a)symmetries that researchers find. I claim that when there is no justification whether the selection/construction represents some universe of real-world information, we should be wary of results about asymmetries. Ideally, studies must find ways to randomly sample stimuli from the target population of information. 


Location:
Zoom meeting -

Affiliation:
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

Contact:
Political Behaviour Colloquium - Send a mail

Organiser:
SPS Researcher Emma Hoes (EUI)
Francesco Colombo

Speaker:
Bernhard Clemm von Hohenberg

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