Hunt Allcott and Matthew Gentzkow 229 For example Republicans are more likely

Hunt allcott and matthew gentzkow 229 for example

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Hunt Allcott and Matthew Gentzkow 229 For example, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to believe that Presi- dent Obama was born outside the United States, and Democrats are more likely than Republicans to believe that President Bush was complicit in the 9/11 attacks (Cassino and Jenkins 2013). Such polarized beliefs are consistent with a Bayesian framework, where posteriors depend partially on priors, as well as with models of motivated reasoning (for example, Taber and Lodge 2006, or see the symposium in the Summer 2016 issue of this journal). Either way, the ability to update one’s priors in response to factual information is privately and socially valuable in our model, and polarized views on factual issues can damage society’s ability to come Table 1 What Predicts Correct Beliefs about News Headlines? (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Democrat 0.029 –0.004 0.028 –0.010 0.015 (0.020) (0.023) (0.019) (0.021) (0.013) Republican –0.024 0.040 –0.037* 0.021 –0.018 (0.024) (0.027) (0.020) (0.023) (0.014) ln(Daily media time) –0.002 0.042*** 0.013*** (0.007) (0.008) (0.004) Social media most –0.066*** 0.065*** –0.023 important (0.025) (0.024) (0.016) Use social media 0.014 –0.023 0.002 (0.030) (0.038) (0.019) Social media –0.027 0.028 –0.008 ideological segregation (0.036) (0.046) (0.024) Education 0.014*** 0.004 0.011*** (0.004) (0.004) (0.003) Undecided –0.011 0.006 –0.005 (0.017) (0.022) (0.013) Age 0.002*** 0.000 0.002*** (0.000) (0.001) (0.000) N 12,080 6,040 12,080 6,040 18,120 p -value 0.029 0.124 0.004 0.207 0.035 (Democrat = Republican) Articles in sample False True False True All Note: This table presents estimates of a regression of a dependent variable measuring correct beliefs about headlines on individual characteristics. Columns 1 and 3 include only false headlines, columns 2 and 4 contain only true headlines, and column 5 contains all headlines. All columns include additional demographic controls: income, race, and gender. “Social media most important” means social media were the respondent’s most important sources of election news. “Social media ideological segregation” is the self-reported share (from 0 to 1) of social media friends that preferred the same presidential candidate. “Undecided” is an indicator variable for whether the respondent decided which candidate to vote for less than three months before the election. Observations are weighted for national representativeness. Standard errors are robust and clustered by survey respondent. *, **, *** indicate statistically significantly different from zero with 90, 95, and 99 percent confidence, respectively.
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230 Journal of Economic Perspectives to agreement on what social problems are important and how to address them (Sunstein 2001a, b, 2007). Given this discussion, do we also see polarized beliefs with respect to fake news? And if so, what factors moderate ideologically aligned inference—that is, what factors predict a lower probability that a Republican is more likely to believe pro- Trump news than pro-Clinton news, or that a Democrat is more likely to believe pro-Clinton than pro-Trump news? To gain insight into this question, we define B ia as a measure of whether individual i believed article a , taking value 1 if “Yes,” 0.5 if “Not sure,” and 0 if “No.” We also define D i and R i as Democrat and Republican indicators, and C a and T a as indicators for whether headline a is pro-Clinton or pro-Trump. We then run the following regression in the sample of Democrats and
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