Thursday, February 8, 2024

Liberals are more in touch with reality than conservatives

Read the whole thread by following the link to X (the site formerly known as Twitter), or you can read the underlying research article:

R. Kelly Garrett and Robert M. Bond, Conservatives’ susceptibility to political misperceptions, Science Advances, 2 Jun 2021, Vol 7, Issue 23, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf1234.

Abstract: The idea that U.S. conservatives are uniquely likely to hold misperceptions is widespread but has not been systematically assessed. Research has focused on beliefs about narrow sets of claims never intended to capture the richness of the political information environment. Furthermore, factors contributing to this performance gap remain unclear. We generated an unique longitudinal dataset combining social media engagement data and a 12-wave panel study of Americans’ political knowledge about high-profile news over 6 months. Results confirm that conservatives have lower sensitivity than liberals, performing worse at distinguishing truths and falsehoods. This is partially explained by the fact that the most widely shared falsehoods tend to promote conservative positions, while corresponding truths typically favor liberals. The problem is exacerbated by liberals’ tendency to experience bigger improvements in sensitivity than conservatives as the proportion of partisan news increases. These results underscore the importance of reducing the supply of right-leaning misinformation.


  1. Irony and absolution referencing Hanania.

    Well soon be trying

    1. I don't follow Hanania, but every once in awhile he does show up on my radar screen. Back in October he showed up making the breath-taking claim that, with a year of work, he could produce writing that's indistinguishable from Shakespeare. I tack that tweet to the end of this post.