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Misinformation and the Currency of Democratic Citizenship

James H. Kuklinski, Paul J. Quirk, Jennifer Jerit, David Schwieder and Robert F. Rich
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 62, No. 3 (Aug., 2000), pp. 790-816
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2647960
Page Count: 27
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Misinformation and the Currency of Democratic Citizenship
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Abstract

Scholars have documented the deficiencies in political knowledge among American citizens. Another problem, misinformation, has received less attention. People are misinformed when they confidently hold wrong beliefs. We present evidence of misinformation about welfare and show that this misinformation acts as an obstacle to educating the public with correct facts. Moreover, wide-spread misinformation can lead to collective preferences that are far different from those that would exist if people were correctly informed. The misinformation phenomenon has implications for two currently influential scholarly literatures: the study of political heuristics and the study of elite persuasion and issue framing.

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