Brendan Nyhan

Professor of Government Wins APSA Emerging Scholars Award.

Professor of Government, Brendan Nyhan, along with Peter K. Enns of Cornell University, has been awarded the APSA's (American Political Science Associations's) Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior Emerging Scholar Award. The award is presented annually to the top scholar in the field who is within 10 years of their Ph.D.

Deflategate Study: Fans Use Facts to Support Their Team

“There’s an old saying in politics, ‘You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.’ But in a lot of instances, where people’s loyalties are in play, the same set of facts can move them in opposite directions,” says government professor John Carey, who coauthored the study with government professor Brendan Nyhan and associate professor of government Benjamin Valentino of Dartmouth, as well as Mignan Liu, a survey scientist at SurveyMonkey. Read more on the Dartmouth News website.

David Leonhardt Adds Staff to ‘Times’ Data Venture (Capital)

Assistant Professor of Government Brendan Nyhan will be a contributor for The New York Times’ new “data-driven politics and policy website,” reports Capital.

The announcement of the appointment was made by the Times’ David Leonhardt, the article notes. Leonhardt says in a memo that “Brendan Nyhan has established a reputation as one of the most thought-provoking writers about politics on the web,” Capital reports.

Leonhardt says, “Our goal is to use a conversational style to demystify politics, economics, health care, and other issues. We will publish a steady stream of pieces on a website within nytimes.com.”

Read the full story, published 2/14/14 by Capital.

Pro-Vaccine Messages Actually Backfire, Study Finds (NBC News)

A new study led by Dartmouth’s Brendan Nyhan suggests that public health messages aimed at increasing childhood vaccinations are actually having the reverse effect, reports NBC News.

The study found that the messages increased fears among wary parents, the article notes. “If these messages were working, they should increase the intent to vaccinate,” Nyhan, an assistant professor of government, tells NBC News. “This highlights the extent to which we tend to overrate how persuasive facts and evidence are in all kinds of domains.”

Nyhan and his colleagues studied the effectiveness of public health messages about measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) that were designed to reduce misperceptions and increase vaccination rates. The study was published online in the journal Pediatrics on March 3.

Read the full story, published 3/2/14 by NBC News.