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Constitution Hall, American University


David C. Barker, American University

Session I: Concepts

Moderator: David C. Barker, American University
Sample Questions:
  • How widespread is misinformation and disinformation?
  • How does misinformation compare/relate to the broader phenomena of motivated reasoning, dueling fact perceptions and unjustified certainty?
  • How do we clarify the distinctions between Stereotypes, Rumors, Denialism, Alternative Facts and Conspiracy Thinking?


  1. Lies, Damn Lies, and Democracy
    Robert Y. Shapiro, Columbia University
  2. Information Disorder: Definitions and Processes
    H. D., Harvard University
  3. Stereotypes in Post-Truth Politics: Enhancing Political and Group Divisions
    Donald P. Haider-Markel and Mark R. Joslyn, University of Kansas
  4. Denialism or Conspiricism? The Causes and Consequences of Rejecting Authoritative Accounts
    Joseph Uscinski, University of Miami
  5. Selective Exposure to Misinformation: Evidence from the Consumption of Fake News During the 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign
    Andrew Guess, Princeton University, Brendan Nyhan, Dartmouth College and Jason Reifler, University of Exeter

Session II: Causes

Moderator: Liz Suhay, American University
Sample Questions:
  • To what extent is misinformation a "top-down" vs. a "bottom up" process?
  • How do values, partisanship, and group identity interact to inform motivated reasoning?
  • Does the context or the type of factual dispute condition these processes?
  • How is the technology/media landscape contributing?


  1. Misinformation and the Currency of Democratic Citizenship: A Retrospective
    Jennifer Jerit, Stony Brook University
  2. The New Battlegrounds over Facts in Democracy
    Cary Funk and Scott Keeter, Pew Research Center
  3. What Ordinary Survey Data Can (and Cannot) Tell us About Partisans' Views of "The Facts"
    Alan S. Gerber and Gregory A. Huber, Yale University
  4. The Roots of False Beliefs: Political Rumors in America from 2010-2017
    Adam J. Berinsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  5. The Relationship between Losing an Election and Conspiracy Theory Endorsement
    Joanne Miller, University of Minnesota


Keynote Discussion: The Ethics of Misinformation
Mike McCurry, Wesley Theological Seminary (White House Press Secretary, 1995-98)
Michael Gerson, The Washington Post (White House Chief Speech-writer and Senior Policy Advisor, 2000-6)
Moderator: Betsy Fischer Martin, American University

Session III: Consequences

Moderator: Arthur Lupia, University of Michigan
Sample Questions:
  • What is the full range of consequences associated with misinformation and polarized fact perceptions?
  • How deep and widespread are the effects?
  • To what extent are the consequences-as well as the phenomenon itself-ideologically asymmetrical?


  1. The Consequences of "Truth Decay"
    Jennifer Kavanagh, RAND Corporation
  2. Dueling Facts and Social Disdain
    Morgan Marietta, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and David C. Barker, American University
  3. Motivated Reasoning and Dueling Fact Perceptions: Ideological Symmetry or Asymmetry?
    David C. Barker , American University, Morgan Marietta , University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Kim Nalder, California State University, and Danielle Joesten-Martin, California State University, Sacramento.
  4. Post-Truth Politics and Growing Distrust of the Local Press
    Danny Hayes, George Washington University and Jennifer L. Lawless, American University
  5. Combating the Anti-Muslim Rhetoric of the 2016 Presidential Campaign: An Experimental Investigation of the Impact of Corrective News
    Kim Fridkin and Jillian Courey, Arizona State University

Session IV: Correctives

Moderator: Diana C. Mutz, University of Pennsylvania
Sample Questions:
  • "Post-Truth" suggests that fact-based deliberation is a lost cause. Is this right?
  • What is the impact of corrective information?
  • Do education, sophistication, or other habits of the mind make a difference?
  • Is there anything that media can do to slow or reverse the trend?


  1. Can Facts Change Attitudes about Fiscal Policy?
    John Sides, George Washington University
  2. Does Exposure to Scientific Evidence Promote "Evidence-based" Policymaking?
    Nathan Lee, Stanford University
  3. Misinformed in an Unequal World: How Accurate Information about Inequality and Personal Income Affects Public Support for Redistributive Policies
    Cheryl Boudreau, University of California, Davis
  4. How Reflection Improves Reasoning about Politics
    Vin Arceneaux, Temple University
  5. Fact-Checking the 2016 Presidential Election & the Role of Selective Exposure
    Amanda Wintersieck, University of Tennessee-Chatanooga

Close and Reception


Politics of Truth Roundtable

EJ Dionne, Washington Post/Georgetown University
Robert Costa, Washington Post/PBS Washington Week
Molly Ball, Time/CNN
Shawna Thomas, Vice News
Moderator: Ron Elving, National Public Radio and American University