Biography

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. My research, which focuses on political scandal and misperceptions about politics and health care, has been published or is forthcoming in journals including the American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Political Analysis, Political Behavior, Political Psychology, Pediatrics, Medical Care, Journal of Adolescent Health, and Social Networks. (My publications and working papers are listed below; see my curriculum vitae or Google Scholar profile for more.)

I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at Duke University in 2009 and served as a RWJ Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan from 2009-2011.

I am a contributor to The Upshot at The New York Times (March 2014-). I previously served as a media critic for Columbia Journalism Review (November 2011-February 2014). I also blog at brendan-nyhan.com and tweet at @BrendanNyhan. I've been called "one of the most thought-provoking writers about politics on the web", part of "a new breed of conscientious political science bloggers" who are "creating reputational hazards to seat-of-the-pants punditry," and a "political science shaolin warrior".

From 2001-2004, Ben Fritz, Bryan Keefer, and I edited Spinsanity, a non-partisan watchdog of political spin that was syndicated in Salon (2002) and the Philadelphia Inquirer (2004). In 2004, we published All the President's Spin, a New York Times bestseller that Amazon.com named one of the ten best political books of the year.

Previously, I was a marketing and fundraising consultant for Benetech, a Silicon Valley technology nonprofit, and Deputy Communications Director of the Bernstein for US Senate campaign in Nevada. I grew up in Mountain View, CA and attended Swarthmore College.

Peer-reviewed publications

The Effect of Fact-checking on Elites: A field experiment on U.S. state legislators. Forthcoming, American Journal of Political Science. (with Jason Reifler)

Connecting the Candidates: Consultant Networks and the Diffusion of Campaign Strategy in American Congressional Elections. Forthcoming, American Journal of Political Science. (with Jacob Montgomery)

  • Media coverage

Scandal Potential: How political context and news congestion affect the president's vulnerability to media scandal (local copy; pre-publication version). Forthcoming, British Journal of Political Science.
-Online appendix
-Replication data and code (Stata)

Effective Messages in Vaccine Promotion: A Randomized Trial (pre-publication version). 2014. Pediatrics. Published online March 3, 2014 (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-2365). (with Jason Reifler, Sean Richey, and Gary Freed)
-Commentary by Shelley Springer, AAP Grand Rounds
-Online appendix
-Replication data and code (Stata)

Beliefs Don't Always Persevere: How political figures are punished when positive information about them is discredited (pre-publication version). 2013. Political Psychology 34(3): 307-326. (with Michael Cobb and Jason Reifler)
-Replication data and code (Stata)

The Hazards of Correcting Myths about Health Care Reform. 2013. Medical Care 51(2): 127-132. (with Jason Reifler and Peter Ubel; lead article with accompanying editorial by Aaron E. Carroll)
-Replication data and code (Stata)

The Role of Social Networks in Influenza Vaccine Attitudes and Intentions Among College Students in the Southeastern United States (pre-publication version). 2012. Journal of Adolescent Health 51(3): 302-304. (with Jason Reifler and Sean Richey)
-Online appendix
-Replication data and code (Stata)

One Vote Out of Step? The Effects of Salient Roll Call Votes in the 2010 Election (pre-publication version). 2012. American Politics Research 40(5): 844-879. (with Eric McGhee, John Sides, Seth Masket, and Steven Greene)
-Replication data and code (R/Stata)

The Limited Effects of Testimony on Political Persuasion (pre-publication version). 2011. Public Choice 148(3-4): 283-312.
-Replication data and code (R/Stata)

The "Unfriending" Problem: The Consequences of Homophily in Friendship Retention for Causal Estimates of Social Influence (pre-publication version). 2011. Social Networks 33(3): 211-218. (with Hans Noel)
-Replication code (R)

When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions (pre-publication version). 2010. Political Behavior 32(2): 303-330. (with Jason Reifler)
-Replication data and code (Stata)

Bayesian Model Averaging: Theoretical Developments and Practical Applications (pre-publication version). 2010. Political Analysis 18(2): 245-270. (with Jacob Montgomery)
-Replication data and code (R/Stata) [7.3 MB]
-R package: readme.txt, Unix/Mac, Windows-32, Windows-64

  • Media coverage

Other publications

Which Corrections Work? Research results and practice recommendations. 2013. New America Foundation Media Policy Initiative Research Paper. (with Jason Reifler)

The Effects of Fact-checking Threat: Results from a field experiment in the states. 2013. New America Foundation Media Policy Initiative Research Paper. (with Jason Reifler)

Does the US Media Have a Liberal Bias? A Discussion of Tim Groseclose's Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind (local copy). 2012. Perspectives on Politics 10(3): 767-771.
-Replication code (Stata)

Misinformation and Fact-checking: Research Findings from Social Science. 2012. New America Foundation Media Policy Initiative Research Paper. (with Jason Reifler)

How Political Science Can Help Journalism (and Still Let Journalists Be Journalists) (local copy). 2011. The Forum 9(1). (with John Sides)

Why the "Death Panel" Myth Wouldn't Die: Misinformation in the Health Care Reform Debate (local copy). 2010. The Forum 8(1).
-Replication code (Stata)

Party and Constituency in the U.S. Senate, 1933-2004. 2008. In Why Not Parties?, Nathan W. Monroe, Jason M. Roberts, and David Rohde, eds. University of Chicago Press. (with John Aldrich, Michael Brady, Scott de Marchi, Ian McDonald, David Rohde, and Michael Tofias)
-Replication data and code (Stata)

All the President's Spin: George W. Bush, the Media and the Truth. Touchstone, 2004. (with Ben Fritz and Bryan Keefer)
-Amazon.com Best Books of 2004 (11/10/04)
-New York Times bestseller (9/5/04)

Current research

Displacing misinformation about events: An experimental test of causal corrections (with Jason Reifler) [R&R at Journal of Experimental Political Science]

Blank slates or closed minds? The role of information deficits and identity threat in the prevalence of misperceptions (with Jason Reifler) [R&R at American Journal of Political Science]

The Effects of Semantics and Context in Correcting the Obama Muslim Myth (with Jason Reifler and undergraduates from my PS 199AS class at Duke)


Review articles

Review of Milton Lodge and Charles S. Taber, The Rationalizing Voter (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013). Forthcoming, Public Opinion Quarterly

Review of Thráinn Eggertsson, Imperfect Institutions: Possibilities and Limits of Reform (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005). 2006. Public Choice 129: 239-241.

Courses taught

Experiments in Politics (Dartmouth College, Duke University)

Political Misinformation and Conspiracy Theories (Dartmouth College)

The Presidency (Dartmouth College, Duke University)

Quantitative Political Analysis (Dartmouth College)

Political writing

brendan-nyhan.com (personal blog; 2004-present)
-Media critic, Columbia Journalism Review
-Previous: Featured blogger, HuffPost Pollster (formerly Pollster.com) and Washington Monthly Ten Miles Square blog
-Politico op-ed (10/8/13) [with Jason Reifler]
-Crystal Ball column (10/6/11)
-Crystal Ball column (5/26/11)
-CNN.com commentary (4/28/11)
-Boston Review article (11/11/10) [with Eric McGhee and John Sides]
-New York Times op-ed (3/25/10)

Spinsanity (with Ben Fritz and Bryan Keefer; 2001-2004)
-Featured columnist, Philadelphia Inquirer (2004)
-Award of Distinction, 2003 Paul Mongerson Prize for Investigative Reporting on News Coverage
-Featured columnist, Salon.com (2002)

Previous experience

Marketing and fundraising consultant (2001–2003)
The Benetech Initiative

Deputy Communications Director (2000)
Bernstein for US Senate, Nevada

Resources for new/aspiring academics

Robert Peters, Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning an M.A. or a Ph.D.

Fabio Rojas, Grad Skool Rulz: Everything You Need to Know about Academia from Admissions to Tenure

Mike Munger, IHS essays and Kosmos podcasts on academic success

Emily Hanford, Don't Lecture Me: Rethinking the Way College Students Learn

Tom Carsey, What Makes for a Good Research Presentation

Phil Agre, Networking on the Network

Richard Hamming, You and Your Research

Phil Arena, Signaling Advice For Grad Students

Phil Arena, Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Out as a Professor

Cal Newport, Some Thoughts on Grad School

Don Davis, Ph.D. Thesis Research: Where do I Start?

Ira Glass on the gap between your taste and your work and how to close it

Journal editors on what makes a good review

Tyler Cowen on academic publishing

Chris Blattman, How to get a PhD *and* save the world

Paul Edwards, How to Give an Academic Talk

Ezra W. Zuckerman, Tips to Article-Writers

Philip J. Guo, The Ph.D. Grind: A Ph.D. Student Memoir

Karen Kelsky, Should I Do an Edited Collection?

Hugo Lindgren, Be Wrong as Fast as You Can

Eric Chown, Giving Computer Science Students Freedom

Tyler Cowen on the relative importance of incentives vs. where we are on the innovation curve

David Karpf, The Dissertation as Teacher

Robert J. Stenberg, Self-Sabotage in the Academic Career

Andrew Oswald, Things I would have found it useful to have been told when I was a young researcher

Kurt Gray and Daniel M. Wegner, Six Guidelines for Interesting Research

Cosma R. Shalizi, On Academic Talks: Memory and Fear

Radhika Nagpal, The-Awesomest-7-Year-Postdoc or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tenure-track-faculty-life

Nathan M. Jensen, My paper's journey through the review process

Gabriel Rossman on how we broke peer review and how to fix it

Chris Blattman, Frequently asked questions on PhD applications

Mark Cuban, Don't Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort

Kaitlin Gallagher, Fixed vs Growth Mindsets

Chris Blattman, Advice for new Assistant Professors

Jesse Shapiro, How to Give an Applied Micro Talk

Assistant Professor
Dept. of Government
Dartmouth College

305 Silsby Hall
HB 6108
Hanover, NH 03755

Curriculum vitae

Google Scholar profile

nyhan@dartmouth.edu