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U of M to host forum on ‘Psychology of Political Misinformation’

As political misinformation engulfs us in this era of never-ending political campaigning and partisan division, the University of Minnesota’s Center for the Study of Political Psychology will look at the psychology of the phenomenon next week.

The “Psychology of Political Misinformation” symposium, from 2 to 4 pm. next Friday, will feature national experts on the issue in a free event at the U’s Carlson School of Management.

They’ll look at such things as persistent doubts about President Obama’s birthplace to the tenacity of 9/11 conspiracy theories, says the program announcement, as “contemporary political discourse seems to be marked by a proliferation of demonstrably false beliefs that nevertheless resist disconfirmation in certain quarters.” It also says:

“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.”

On the panel will be:

  • Dan Kahan (Yale Law),
  • Brendan Nyhan (Dartmouth University)
  • Dhavan Shah (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Paul Goren (University of Minnesota), moderator.

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