I was selected as one of fourteen Stanford seniors to participate in the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law honors program, a 15-month program where students conduct independent research projects with support of faculty.

My research looks at interventions to reduce politically motivated reasoning. When individuals are faced with information that contradicts their political party’s point of view, they often misinterpret this data and say that it supports their own perspective. This is called politically motivated reasoning. Some research suggests that people who are curious or skeptical are less likely to engage in motivated reasoning, and some research suggests that prompting people to value accuracy also reduces politically motivated reasoning.

I’m conducting an experiment to determine whether prompting individuals to think like a scientist reduces politically motivated reasoning. More specifically, I’m testing whether prompting people to value curiosity, skepticism and/or accuracy has an effect on politically motivated reasoning.

Image: Scientist by Noura Mbarki from the Noun Project

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