Year Awarded: 2019
Research Lab: Jon Krosnick
Jared McDonald received his B.A. in Political Science from The George Washington University and his Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park under the supervision of Dr. Michael Hanmer. He is primarily interested in the means by which voters hold politicians accountable for their performance in office. During his doctoral training, Jared focused on the ways in which voters develop perceptions of political character. He also developed a research agenda that examined voter behavior through the lens of biased information processing, paying special attention to the way misinformation can permeate the information environment and lead to suboptimal democratic outcomes.
Combatting Misinformation and Correcting Misperceptions on Climate Change
Despite the steady flow of scientific inquiry showing climate change is occurring and is caused by humans, a significant number of Americans hold skeptical views on the topic. Research shows that roughly a third of Americans believe that climate scientists are motivated by political or economic interests rather than scientific evidence. As partisan leaders express skepticism on climate change and sow distrust toward the scientific community, the risk of polarization on the topic grows. At Stanford, Jared will explore American public opinion on climate science and develop methods to address issues of misinformation and misperception. In particular, he will examine the role that honesty salience can play in generating a public backlash against opinion leaders caught spreading misinformation.