Assistant Professor, Political Science
Campbell Senior Research Associate
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2013
American politics, misinformation and misperceptions, experimental methodology, political psychology, media and politics
Emily. “Comparing Approaches to Journalistic Fact-Checking” in Misinformation
and Mass Audiences Ed. Southwell, Brian; Sheble, Laura, and Thorson, Emily.
Forthcoming, University of Texas Press.
Michelle A., Thorson, Emily, Muddiman, Ashley, and Graves, Lucas. “Correcting
Political and Consumer Misperceptions: The Effectiveness and Effects of Rating
Scale Versus Contextual Correction Formats.” Journalism & Mass
Communication Quarterly. November, 2016.
Emily. “Belief Echoes: The Persistent Effects of Corrected Misinformation” Political
Communication. November, 2015.
Emily. “Beyond Opinion Leaders: How Attempts to Persuade Foster Awareness and
Campaign Learning.” Communication Research. February, 2014.
A. Thorson, Johnston,
Richard; Thorson, Emily; & Gooch, Andrew. “The Economy and the Dynamics of
the 2008 Presidential Campaign.” Journal of Elections, Public Opinion,
and Parties. March, 2010. Thorson, Emily. “Changing Patterns of News
Consumption and Participation.” Information, Communication, and Society June,
The Invented State: Systematic Policy Misperceptions in the
Citizens' ability to make reasoned, informed political
decisions lies at the heart of democracy, and the presence of misinformation
poses a serious threat to informed political participation. This book
manuscript finds that misperceptions about public policy are widespread and can
substantially shape political attitudes. I call this set of policy
misperceptions the ``invented state,'' building on Suzanne Mettler's
observation that many domestic policies are largely invisible to the public. I
show that because politicians and the media fail to give citizens the
fundamental background knowledge they need about these policies, misperceptions
about them flourish. Citizens, faced with a dearth of accurate information,
create the invented state: a systematic set of misperceptions about how
government operates. While most work on misinformation suggests it is difficult
to correct misperceptions about politics, my findings suggest that
citizens are surprisingly responsive to corrections about policy. I
argue that the very factors that make the invented state possible -- namely,
politicians' and media's reluctance to discuss complex policy issues -- also
mean that these issues are not deeply intertwined with partisan politics,
making them less subject to partisan-driven motivated reasoning.
Emily and Serazio, Michael. (Under Review). “Sports Fandom and Political
Emily and Shaker, Lee. (Under Review) “New Format, Same Audience: Online Video
and the Evolving News Industry”
Emily. (Under Review) “Some of My Best Friends are Poor? Income Misperceptions
and Policy Attitudes”