Fact-opinion differentiation

Matthew Mettler, Jeffery J Mondak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Statements of fact can be proved or disproved with objective evidence, whereas statements of opinion depend on personal values and preferences. Distinguishing between these types of statements contributes to information competence. Conversely, failure at fact-opinion differentiation potentially brings resistance to corrections of misinformation and susceptibility to manipulation. Our analyses show that on fact-opinion differentiation tasks, unsystematic mistakes and mistakes emanating from partisan bias occur at higher rates than accurate responses. Accuracy increases with political sophistication. Affective partisan polarization promotes systematic partisan error: as views grow more polarized, partisans increasingly see their side as holding facts and the opposing side as holding opinions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHarvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 7 2024


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