Public Opinion Research Training Seminar: Fixing Fake News

Principal Investigator
Prof. Adam Berinsky, Political Science
Fund: Alumni Class Funds
Funding Period: AY2020
Department/Lab/Center: Political Science

Rumors and innuendo have long influenced the conduct of politics. But with the rise of the 24-hour news cycle and the rapid communication of specialized information via the internet, the potential for the spread of false information is perhaps greater than at any time in history. I will offer an innovative course that will give undergraduates hands-on experience in the design and execution of strategies to combat misinformation in the United States. My course will cover the design and analysis of surveys, enabling undergraduates to collect and interpret their own social science research data in the realm of misinformation. My course — titled “Public Opinion Research Training Seminar: Fixing Fake News” (PORTS) — is modeled on an existing graduate course, but will give undergraduates a focused, hands-on tutorial on conducting public opinion research. This course will serve majors interested in conducting public opinion research for their senior thesis. But the course should have a broader appeal as well, giving undergraduates experience in designing and implementing social science experiments.