Americans have always held differing views about policy issues. But more and more, they disagree about basic facts. This is a symptom of what RAND calls “Truth Decay,” and it's doing severe damage to democracy in the United States.
RAND is studying “Truth Decay”—the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. As a nonpartisan institution that seeks to advance the public good through research and analysis, RAND is concerned about the threat Truth Decay poses to evidence-based policymaking. We invite fellow researchers and engaged stakeholders to join our efforts to find solutions.
RAND defines Truth Decay as the diminishing role of facts and data in American public life. There are four trends that characterize Truth Decay:
Most of these trends are not unprecedented in American history. But today's level of disagreement over objective facts is a new phenomenon. So how did we get here?
RAND research has investigated what's causing and compounding this problem. The main drivers of Truth Decay include
RAND's research agenda addresses these issues and much more. But research and analysis alone cannot solve the complex problem of Truth Decay. Policymakers, media companies, and individuals must also act on the basis of this research.