Fact-Checking Research Database

We collect (and briefly explain) major studies on fact-checking, fake news and misinformation

Recent Research

Research Study

Antecedents of bullshitting

John V.Petrocelli
Our Summary

Bullshitting is socially constructed

In this study, the author aims to figure out what makes people take up bullshitting, or "communications that result from little to no concern for truth, evidence and/or established semantic, logical, systemic, or empirical knowledge." To do that, he ran two separate experiments: One in which he t

Research Study

Politifact Language Audit

Dallas Card, Lucy H. Lin, Noah A. Smith
Our Summary

PolitiFact language audit finds no bias toward either U.S. political party

This report analyzes language that PolitiFact has published about Democrats and Republicans to see how the organization has framed speakers from both parties. It used automated text analysis on approximately 10,000 articles dating back to 2007, with the bulk of them between 2010 and 2017.

Research Study

Processing political misinformation: comprehending the Trump phenomenon

Briony Swire, Adam J. Berinsky, Stephan Lewandowsky, Ullrich K. H. Ecker
Our Summary

Fact-checking corrects misperceptions but doesn't affect votes

This study looks at the effect of partisanship on the likelihood of accepting a factual correction. In two separate studies, four true and four false claims by Donald Trump were presented to a sample of Democrats, non-Trump supporting Republicans and Trump-supporting Republicans.

Research Study

The Elusive Backfire Effect: Mass Attitudes' Steadfast Factual Adherence

Thomas Wood, Ethan Porter
Our Summary

The "backfire effect" fails the replication test

The "backfire effect" is a cognitive bias detected in a 2010 study ("When corrections fail: The persistence of political misperceptions") suggesting that sometimes factual corrections increase — rather than decrease — misperceptions among a target group.

Our Summary

The more partisan your online news diet, the less likely you are to believe fact-checkers

This study was conducted ahead of the 2012 presidential election. Respondents were asked whether they were aware of experts' conclusions on four political misconceptions, whether they believed them and which online news outlets they consumed.

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