“Partisan Differences in Factual Beliefs: From Conceptual Foundations to Empirical Practice,” Matthew Graham, Yale University
AMERICAN POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY WORKSHOP
Abstract: Do Democrats and Republicans perceive the facts differently? Answering calls for tighter links between conceptual foundations and empirical practice, I develop an account of the conceptual standards researchers invoke when distinguishing false beliefs from guessing. The empirical method I derive from this account, which measures belief probabilistically rather than as a dichotomous state, suggests that prevailing practices exaggerate belief differences between Democrats and Republicans by about 40 percent, with substantial variation between questions. To validate these inferences, I present novel evidence that stated confidence measures predict measures of revealed confidence and do not appear to be afflicted by partisan cheerleading.
Matt Graham is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Yale. This talk presents new material from his dissertation, which develops new conceptual and empirical tools for understanding the public’s factual beliefs about politics.
This workshop is open to Yale faculty and students only.