Brendan Nyhan

Using the Tools of Quantitative Social Science to Study Fake News

11/14/2017

Using new data collection technologies, QSS steering committee members Brenda Nyhan and Yusaku Horiuchi, with Dartmouth undergraduate students from Nyhan’s “Experiments in Politics” course, have been able to contribute to social science research on the prevalence and effect of fake news and fact checking. A recent Dartmouth News story, “Dartmouth Scholar Is at the Center of the Fake News Debate” highlights Professor Nyhan and his work.

2nd day in a row: QSS Steering Committee Member Featured Quote of the Day

11/07/2017

Government professor and QSS Steering committee member Brendan Nyan was quoted in the VOX daily speaking about the Trump administration "Threats to the rule of law often start with these softer kinds of actions, these norms that grow weaker." This quote comes from an article on thestar.com entitiled "Trump talks like a strongman. Good thing he’s governing like a weak man: Analysis"

QSS students and faculty investigte the believability of fake news

10/24/2017

Three papers co-authored by QSS students and steering committee members investigate individuals' likelihood to be skeptical of false news. In thier paper "Media Source, Selective Exposure, and Susceptibility to False Information," Dartmouth students Katherine Clayton, Jase Davis, and Kristen Hinckley, with Professor Yusaku Horiuchi, investigate whether citizens' are more likely to believe false information based on the source of the news piece. In "Counting the Pinocchios: The Effect of Summary Fact-Checking Data on Perceived Accuracy and Favorability of Politicians," students Alexander Agadjanian, Nikita Bakhru, Victoria Chi, Devyn Greenberg, Byrne Hollander, Alexander Hurt, Joseph Kind, Ray Lu, Annie Ma, Daniel Pham, Michael Qian, Mackinley Tan, Clara Wang, Alexander  Wasdahl, and Alexandra Woodruff, with Professor Brendan Nyhan, study the effects of summary fact-checking (assessing the accuracy of politicians over time) on the favorability rating of those politicians. And in "Real Solutions for Fake News? Measuring the Effectiveness of General Warnings and Fact-Check Banners in Reducing Belief in False Stories on Social Media," Professor Nyhan worked with students Spencer Blair, Jonathan A. Busam, Katherine Clayton, Samuel Forstner, John Glance, Guy Green, Anna Kawata, Akhila Kovvuri, Jonathan Martin, Evan Morgan, Morgan Sandhu, Rachel Sang, Rachel Scholz-Bright, Austin T. Welch, Andrew G. Wolff, and Amanda Zhou explore the effectiveness of various strategies that could be used by social media platforms to counter fake news. Professors Nyan and Horiuchi also discussed these findings in an Upshot article, "Why the Fact-Checking at Facebook Needs to Be Checked" and a Monkey Cage article "Homegrown ‘fake news’ is a bigger problem than Russian propaganda. Here’s a way to make falsehoods more costly for politicians."

QSS Faculty member is Dartmouth's "Quote of the Day"

10/09/2017

In Dartmouth's Vox Daily quote of the day for Monday October 9th, QSS Steering Committe member Brendan Nyhan asks "Can any democratic principle be called into question, or is there a bright line the public won't cross?" This quote is pulled from an October 5th article in Vox, "4 political scientists are tracking whether Trump is damaging American democracy"

QSS Faculty Show Knowledge of Puerto Ricans' Citizenship Status Effects Support for Aid

10/02/2017

In a recent article in The Upshot entitled Nearly Half of Americans Don’t Know Puerto Ricans Are Fellow Citizens, Dartmouth lecturer Kyle Dropp and QSS faculty member Brendan Nyhan show that many Americans are not aware of the fact that Puerto Ricans are American citizens. This knowledge effects whether or not individuals believe Puerto Rico should receive additional government aid in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

QSS Steering Committee Member Earns American Political Science Award

08/30/2017

QSS Steering Committee member Brendan Nyhan was awarded the American Political Science Association’s Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior Emerging Scholar Award for 2017.  Professor Nyhan shared this honor with Peter K. Enns of Cornell University.  This award is presented annually to the top scholar in the field of elections and voting behavior who is within 10 years of her or his doctorate.  Professor Nyhan studies the relationship between misperceptions and behavior and how to correct incorrect information in ways that might produce different outcomes.  His work covers a wide range of topics, including conspiracy theories, public financing, media fact checking, the role of Congressional staff in policy making, campaign strategy, political persuasion, and social networks.  Professor Nyhan has published in top academic journals and writes for the New York Times Upshot blog.  Along with QSS Steering Committee member John Carey, Professor Nyhan is a cofounder of Bright Line Watch, a group of four political scientists who “monitor democratic practices and call attention to threats to American Democracy.”

QSS Steering Committee members John Carey and Brendan Nyhan launch a new initiative to monitor U.S. democratic practices

02/27/2017

QSS Steering Committee members John Carey and Brendan Nyhan, who are both professors in the Government Department, recently launched Bright Line Watch with political scientists at the University of Rochester and Yale University. Bright Line Watch is a new initiative to monitor democratic practices in the U.S. and call attention to threats to American democracy. Their first U.S. Democracy Survey, which surveyed more than 1,500 political scientists in the U.S., was covered by The Upshot at the New York Times and the Washington Post.

John M. Carey is the Wentworth Professor in the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College, where he was chair of the Department of Government from 2009-2015 and currently serves as a member of the steering committee of the Program in Quantitative Social Science.  His research focuses on the design of democratic institutions.  His books include Legislative Voting & Accountability (Cambridge 2009) and Presidents & Assemblies (Cambridge 1992, with Matthew Shugart).  He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Brendan Nyhan is Professor of Government at Dartmouth College and a member of the steering committee of the Program in Quantitative Social Science. Nyhan’s research, which focuses on misperceptions about politics and health care, has been published in journals including the American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Medical Care, Pediatrics,  Political Analysis, Political Behavior, Political Psychology, Social Networks, and Vaccine. He is a contributor to The Upshot at The New York Times.