Projects per year
The project examines the political and psychological factors that impede the political will to act to foster just and equitable communities. In particular, survey and experimental research methods will be used to examine what beliefs among the public, particularly beliefs in misinformation and conspiracy theories, lead to decreased support for policies to combat inequities, focusing on the domains of health, education, income, and criminal justice. The key premise of this work is that misinformation and conspiracy theories (about inequality in general and the specific domain in particular) can lead to polarization and mistrust, as well as a policy discourse that emphasizes group separation at the expense of discourse about community-building. Together, these factors can decrease the political will to advocate for policies aimed at combating inequalities—among members of the public and policymakers alike. The project will move on to examine ways to mitigate the negative effects of misinformation.