PSY 1521. Political Polarization and Misinformation


  • Professor: Jacob Rode
  • Term: Fall
  • Day: Th
  • Time: 12:00-2:00PM
  • School: Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Course ID: 216446
  • Subject Area: Psychology 

Uncertain times call for trusted facts. How can facts be verified? What happens when scientific information becomes politicized? Are some people especially susceptible to believing fake news? Bringing together perspectives from political psychology, social psychology, moral psychology, and intergroup relations, this course will explore the psychology behind political polarization, especially in relation to facts and the public understanding of scientific information. We will consider the role of individual psychology (e.g., conspiratorial thinking) and group processes (e.g., partisan bias) in delivering and perpetuating the politicization of facts. There will be particular focus on the politicization of facts within current events such as COVID19, climate change, vaccines, and elections. Students will have the opportunity to evaluate and design evidence-based interventions for bridging polarization and combating misinformation.

Recommended Prep: The Psychology Department requires completion of Science of Living Systems 20 or Psychology 1 or the equivalent of introductory psychology (e.g. Psych AP=5 or IB =7 or Psyc S-1) and at least one foundational course from PSY 14, PSY 15, PSY 16, and PSY 18 before enrolling in this course; or permission of instructor.

Course Requirements: SLS20 or PSY1 or Psychology AP=5 or Psychology IB=7 or Psyc S-1 AND PSY14 or PSY15 or PSY16 or PSY18