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November 17, 2011

The Political Psychology of Misinformation

The Political Science Department and the Center for the Study of Political Psychology will be sponsoring the Political Psychology Fall Symposium: The Political Psychology of Misinformation. It will be held on December 9, from 2-4pm in room 1-149 in the Carlson School of Management.
From persistent doubts about President Obama's birthplace to the tenacity of 9/11 conspiracy theories, contemporary political discourse seems to be marked by a proliferation of demonstrably false beliefs that nevertheless resist disconfirmation in certain quarters. Research has increasingly drawn attention to the underlying psychology of these and other forms of political "misinformation," implicating factors such as the desire to adopt beliefs that are consistent with prior cultural values, information processing biases that support this desire, and cues provided by trusted political leaders. In this symposium, Dan Kahan (Yale Law), Brendan Nyhan (Dartmouth University) and Dhavan Shah (University of Wisconsin-Madison) will discuss this phenomenon from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Paul Goren (University of Minnesota) will serve as a moderator for this panel discussion.

November 10, 2011

Professor Paul Sniderman

The Center for the Study of Political Psychology welcomes Professor Paul Sniderman of Stanford University on Friday, November 11 to speak about his current research. The talk will be presented from 1:30-3:30pm in room 609 in the Social Science Building. Professor Sniderman's current research is focusing on developing a new theory of party identification and policy reasoning. Contrary to a recent re-emphasis of the theme that citizen's cannot tie their shoe laces politically, Sniderman has found that a large portion of the electorate can and do choose the alternative offer that is most consistent with their preferences. The theory he developed identifies the mechanisms that permit them to do so.