SBEE Lecture Series: Brendan Nyhan

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad

The Social, Behavioral and Experimental Economics lecture series is sponsored by the School of Information, the Ross School of Business and the Department of Economics. Speakers from U.S. and international universities present their research at weekly seminars during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Who Reads Fake News? Evidence from the 2016 and 2018 campaigns


Though some warnings about online "echo chambers" have been hyperbolic, tendencies toward selective exposure to politically congenial content are likely to extend to misinformation and to be exacerbated by social media platforms. We test this prediction using data on the factually dubious articles known as "fake news." Using unique data combining survey responses with individual-level web traffic histories, we evaluate consumption of fake news during the 2016 and 2018 elections, the role of Facebook in exposing people to fake news, and the effectiveness of fact-checks in countering it.

Speaker Bio

Brendan Nyhan is a professor of public policy at the Ford School. His research, which focuses on misperceptions about politics and health care, has been published the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, among other journals. Nyhan is also a contributor to "The Upshot" at The New York Times; a co-founder of Bright Line Watch, a watchdog group that monitors the status of American democracy; and a 2018 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. He first arrived at the University of Michigan as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research before joining the faculty of Dartmouth College's Department of Government. Previously, Nyhan co-edited the non-partisan watchdog Spinsanity, co-authored New York Times best seller All the President's Spin, and served as a media critic for Columbia Journalism Review. He received his PhD in political science from Duke University.

The talk will begin at 12:00 pm and end at 1:00 pm.