Upshot Article on Partisanship Based on ISPS Faculty-Led Paper

January 5, 2016

Written by Neil Irwin for Upshot, “How Is the Economy Doing? It May Depend on Your Party, and $1,” brings forth evidence from a paper by ISPS Resident Faculty Fellows Alan S. Gerber and Gregory Huber, and former ISPS affiliates John G. Bullock and Seth J. Hill.

Recently published by Quarterly Journal of Political Science, their paper,“Partisan Bias in Factual Beliefs about Factual Beliefs,“ looks at how partisan bias affects objective truth. Using a social science experiment where the respondents were first asked questions about the economy, the answers revealed partisan loyalty trumped their political knowledge of the subject. But by offering the respondents a small amount of cash, as little as a dollar or two, they were much more likely to be accurate about what they did not know about the issue.

The authors conclude, “The experiments also bolster and extend a major finding about political knowledge in America: we show (as others have) that Americans know little about politics, but we also show that they often recognize their own lack of knowledge.”

See Upshot article here.

Area of study 
Political Behavior