OSU news outlet: 'Conservatives more susceptible to believing falsehoods'
The article reported on a study conducted by university professors who claim that conservatives have a ‘relatively poor ability to separate truths from falsehoods.’
The article was sent to the undergraduate student body through the 'onCampus Weekly' email newsletter.
Ohio State University’s official news outlet ran an article headlined “Conservatives more susceptible to believing falsehoods.”
“Conservatives are less able to distinguish political truths from falsehoods than liberals, mainly because of a glut of right-leaning misinformation,” reads an Ohio State News article highlighting the work of Ohio State communication professors Kelly Garrett and Robert Bond.
The professors purportedly found that “liberals and conservatives in the United States both tended to believe claims that promoted their political views, but that this more often led conservatives to accept falsehoods while rejecting truths.”
The article was emailed to the undergraduate student body through the newsletter “onCampus Weekly,” as indicated by an email obtained by Campus Reform.
“Both liberals and conservatives tend to make errors that are influenced by what is good for their side,” Garrett told the outlet, “but the deck is stacked against conservatives because there is so much more misinformation that supports conservative positions. As a result, conservatives are more often led astray.”
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According to the study, “selecting claims on the basis of researcher intuitions,” the researchers “then demonstrate that conservatives’ relatively poor ability to separate truths from falsehoods is explained, in large part, by the political orientation of the claims in circulation.”
“We find that high-profile true political claims tend to promote issues and candidates favored by liberals, while falsehoods tend to be better for conservatives,” the study continues. “Even if liberals and conservatives were comparably biased, we would expect liberals to perform better in such an environment.”
To reach this conclusion, the researchers selected twenty political stories — ten “true” and ten “false” — to run by a “political beliefs panel” at an interval of every two weeks. They conclude that “conservatives tend to claim more falsehoods are true, while the number of truths believed is modestly lower.”
The researchers write that an “unanswered question” raised by the data is “why accurate political news tended to advantage the left, while falsehoods helped the right.”
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“Some scholars have suggested that this, too, reflects a deeper truth about ideological differences, arguing that liberalism is more ‘compatible with the epistemic standards, values, and practices’ of science,” continues the study. Another possibility is that “conservative media generate or amplify misleading content in response to consumer demand.”
Campus Reform has previously reported on research showing that a “significant portion of academics” exhibit discriminatory behavior and “a high level of institutional authoritarianism” toward conservatives.
Campus Reform reached out to Ohio State University, Garrett, and Bond for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft