Correcting Political and Consumer Misperceptions: The Effectiveness and Effects of Rating Scale Versus Contextual Correction Formats

Amazeen, Michelle A.; Thorson, Emily; Muddiman, Ashley; Graves, Lucas
Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

While fact-checking has grown dramatically in the last decade, little is known about the relative effectiveness of different formats in correcting false beliefs or overcoming partisan resistance to new information. This article addresses that gap by using theories from communication and psychology to compare two prevailing approaches: An online experiment examined how the use of visual “truth scales” interacts with partisanship to shape the effectiveness of corrections. We find that truth scales make fact-checks more effective in some conditions. Contrary to theoretical predictions and the fears of some journalists, their use does not increase partisan backlash against the correction or the organization that produced it.