Scholars have documented the deficiencies in political knowledge among American citizens. Another problem, misinformation, has received less attention. People are misinformed when they confidently hold wrong beliefs. We present evidence of misinformation about welfare and show that this misinformation acts as an obstacle to educating the public with correct facts. Moreover, wide-spread misinformation can lead to collective preferences that are far different from those that would exist if people were correctly informed. The misinformation phenomenon has implications for two currently influential scholarly literatures: the study of political heuristics and the study of elite persuasion and issue framing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science