How well can you tell factual from opinion statements?

Younger Americans are better than older Americans at telling factual news statements from opinions

I just found this research from Facttank. The research is based on the five questions you can find here.

I am assuming the same would apply to young people in the rest of the world as well? Not sure if anyone has conducted a survey like this in other countries. It certainly opens up for an interesting conversation in class. As a contributor to the debate about “fake news,” it is an interesting discussion topic. What do we believe, why and how do keep ourselves updated?  Do the quiz yourself and then read the result from the survey in the US. And by the way, I strongly encourage you to check out the webpage. A lot of interesting information to use in class there. Pew Research Center.




While some say wisdom comes with age, younger Americans are better than their elders at separating factual from opinion statements in the news, according to a new analysis from Pew Research Center.

Younger Americans are better able to distinguish between factual and opinion news statements

In a survey conducted Feb. 22 to March 4, 2018, the Center asked U.S. adults to categorize five factual statements and five opinion statements. As a previous report revealed, about a quarter of Americans overall could accurately classify all five factual statements (26%) and about a third could classify all five opinion statements (35%).

But age matters, according to this new analysis, as younger adults were more likely than older Americans to correctly categorize all five of the factual statements, and also more likely to do so for the five opinion statements.

About a third of 18- to 49-year-olds (32%) correctly identified all five of the factual statements as factual, compared with two-in-ten among those ages 50 and older. A similar pattern emerges for the opinion statements. Among 18- to 49-year-olds, 44% correctly identified all five opinion statements as opinions, compared with 26% among those ages 50 and older.

When looking at the 10 statements individually, younger adults were not only better overall at correctly identifying factual and opinion news statements – they could do so regardless of the ideological appeal of the statements. (In selecting statements, the study strived to include an equal number that would appeal to the sensitivities of each side of the aisle; to learn how the Center determined the ideological appeal of the statements, see the methodology.)


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