Berinsky's current research, for a new book slated for publication by Princeton University Press, explores the way political rumors develop and spread, how they effect the implementation of policy, and what obstacles there are to combatting them effectively.
Adam Berinsky, Professor of Political Science, and Thomas Levenson, Professor of Science Writing, have each been awarded a 2016 fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
"I am delighted to find that two members of the SHASS community — Adam Berinsky and Tom Levenson — have been awarded prestigious Guggenheim fellowships," said Melissa Nobles, Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. "Though they work in different fields, both scholars are developing projects of fundamental importance to life in the 21st century."
This highly competitive mid-career award recognizes scholars and artists for their exceptional work and supports their current scholarly or artistic projects. Selected from thousands of other scientists, scholars, and artists by a panel of their peers, Guggenheim fellowships are intended to allow recipients time to work with "as much creative freedom as possible."
Adam Berinsky's research focuses on the relationship between public opinion and political behavior, particularly the way the views of the general public are communicated to American political elites. He has also studied the effect of group-based stereotypes, foreign policy and public opinion, electoral reform, and the influence of the media.
"This fellowship is a fantastic honor," said Berinsky, "and it will be a great help as I bring my current book project, which I've been working on for the past few years, to completion."
This book project, which is slated for publication by Princeton University Press, explores the way political rumors develop and spread, how they effect the implementation of policy, and what obstacles there are to combatting them effectively.
Berinsky is the author of In Time of War: Understanding American Public Opinion from World War II to Iraq (University of Chicago Press, 2009) and Silent Voices: Public Opinion and Political Participation in America (Princeton University Press, 2004).
He has received multiple grants from the National Science Foundation, was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and currently edits the University of Chicago Press’s Chicago Studies in American Politics book series. He is also the founding director of the MIT Political Experiments Research Lab.
MIT News Archive: Rumors have it
Berinsky observes that it is harder for a democracy to function well in a public environment pervaded by political myths. “There’s more interest about this in political science and psychology...more interest in trying to find out how people think."