Civic Education

Featured

  • Students pledging allegiance to the American flag

    Commentary

    Strengthening Our Democracy Starts in School

    Dec 17, 2015

    The teaching of civics and other social studies courses has hit hard times in most states, driven in part by accountability systems that reward schools for math and reading scores. Yet civic education is critical to the stability of our democracy and seems warranted now more than ever.

  • Truth Decay title on public space with people and information

    Project

    Truth Decay: Fighting for Facts and Analysis

    Jan 16, 2018

    RAND is studying “Truth Decay”—the diminishing reliance on facts and analysis in American public life. Truth Decay presents a threat to both evidence-based policymaking and democracy. RAND invites fellow researchers and engaged stakeholders to join our efforts to find solutions.

Explore Civic Education

  • Word truth written with wooden letters on rustic surface

    Commentary

    In Reckoning with Today's Truth Wars, Look to America's Past

    The declining regard for factual evidence may be a defining characteristic of our current age. Previous eras suggest it is within society's power to restore respect for objective facts. Humankind just needs to put it on the agenda.

    Jun 19, 2018

  • Audio Podcast of Truth Decay Event at RAND

    Multimedia

    Truth Decay and Trust in Institutions

    In this Events @ RAND podcast, the Pew Research Center's Carroll Doherty joins RAND's Jennifer Kavanagh for a discussion about the causes and consequences of Truth Decay and declining trust in institutions.

    Jun 7, 2018

  • Audio Podcast of Truth Decay Event at RAND

    Multimedia

    Truth Decay and Civil Discourse

    In this Events @ RAND podcast, Jennifer Kavanagh addresses the connection between Truth Decay and the erosion of civil discourse, as well as Truth Decay's effects on policymaking and the future of democracy.

    May 24, 2018

  • Group of people using their phones outdoors

    Blog

    Regulation or Research? How to Reduce Truth Decay in the Media

    What is social media's role in the decline of trust in the media? Is government intervention needed to help stop the spread of misinformation? A panel of researchers discussed the connection between the media and Truth Decay at a RAND event in Boston.

    May 22, 2018

  • Multimedia

    How Truth Decay Happens

    “Truth Decay”—the shrinking role of facts and analysis in American public life—threatens democracy, policymaking, and civic discourse. RAND is studying this phenomenon to help understand what drives it and how to address it.

    May 16, 2018

  • Vial and syringe providing immunization from Truth Decay

    Article

    How to Increase Immunity to Truth Decay

    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.

    May 16, 2018

  • Michael Rich discussing RAND's "Truth Decay" research

    Multimedia

    Truth Decay: A Narrated Video

    "Truth Decay" is the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. RAND is studying the causes and consequences of this phenomenon, and how they are interrelated. We invite other research organizations and individuals to join us in finding potential solutions and responses.

    May 16, 2018

  • Audio Podcast of Truth Decay Event at RAND

    Multimedia

    Truth Decay and the Media

    In this Events @ RAND podcast, a panel of experts discusses the connection between the media and Truth Decay. They address the effects of changes in the information environment, including the rise of social media, the shift to a 24-hour news cycle, increasing partisanship of some news sources, algorithms and filters, and media literacy.

    May 8, 2018

  • Person reading news on a phone and a tablet

    Commentary

    People—Not the Tech Companies—Will Ultimately Stop Disinformation in Europe

    Authorities can continue to seek to punish the tech companies for the circulation of false articles. But this is unlikely to make a difference until more people take the time to acquire the skills to distinguish between fact and fiction.

    Apr 9, 2018

  • A witness in a courtroom swearing to tell the truth

    Commentary

    Truth Decay and the Spirit of the Law

    The widening gap between how the law is expected to be (and generally is) practiced, and certain events transpiring in America's political and policymaking realms, is of increasing concern.

    Mar 23, 2018

  • Black compass with needle pointing the word truth

    Commentary

    The Danger of Truth Decay Across Europe

    “Truth Decay” poses a threat to the health and future of democracy across Europe. With partial facts, disinformation, and incompatible versions of “the truth” competing for attention, it's more and more important for Europeans to recognize this phenomenon.

    Mar 19, 2018

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: March-April 2018

    This issue features a Q&A with Michael Rich, Soledad O'Brien, and Francis Fukuyama on the perils of truth decay, and a story on the trend toward unretirement among U.S. workers. The Voices column features Gulrez Shah Azhar on environmental refugees.

    Mar 5, 2018

  • Soledad O'Brien (RAND trustee and Pardee RAND board member), Michael D. Rich (RAND president and CEO), and Francis Fukuyama (Pardee RAND board member)

    Commentary

    The Perils of Truth Decay: Q&A with Three RAND Leaders

    Truth Decay is defined by disagreement about facts, the blurred line between opinion and fact, increased volume of opinion and personal experience over fact, and declining trust in formerly respected sources of facts. RAND president and CEO Michael D. Rich, journalist Soledad O'Brien, and political scientist Francis Fukuyama discuss the phenomenon and the search for solutions to it.

    Feb 27, 2018

  • Multimedia

    Exploring "Truth Decay"

    In this Call with the Experts, RAND president and CEO Michael Rich and political scientist Jennifer Kavanagh discuss the causes and consequences of Truth Decay, and how they compare with previous eras in U.S. history.

    Jan 17, 2018

  • Torn American flag waving in the wind on a cloudy day

    Commentary

    The Diminishing Role of Facts in American Public Life

    Without agreement about objective facts and a common understanding of and respect for data and analytical interpretations of those data, it becomes nearly impossible to have the types of meaningful policy debates that form the foundation of democracy.

    Jan 17, 2018

  • News Release

    Declining Trust in Facts, Institutions Imposes Real-World Costs on U.S. Society

    Americans' reliance on facts to discuss public issues has declined significantly in the past two decades, leading to political paralysis and collapse of civil discourse. This phenomenon, referred to as “Truth Decay,” is defined by increasing disagreement about facts, a blurring between opinion and fact, an increase in the relative volume of opinion and personal experience over fact, and declining trust in formerly respected sources of factual information.

    Jan 16, 2018

  • A row of people on their mobile phones

    Research Brief

    Truth Decay: A Threat to Policymaking and Democracy

    The line between fact and fiction in American public life is blurring. This “Truth Decay” phenomenon affects democracy and political and civil discourse, driving wedges between policymakers and neighbors alike. But research and analysis can serve as a launching point to rein Truth Decay in.

    Jan 16, 2018

  • The words Truth Decay over a fading American flag painted on wood

    Report

    Declining Trust in Facts and Institutions Imposes Costs on Society

    “Truth Decay” is the diminishing reliance on facts and analysis in American public life. It has many damaging consequences: the erosion of civil discourse, political paralysis, alienation and disengagement from political and civic institutions, and uncertainty over U.S. policy.

    Jan 16, 2018

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: March-April 2016

    This issue highlights RAND research on new ways to measure wellbeing in cities; effects of cigarette advertising on teens; supermarkets in so-called "food deserts"; the decline of civics education in American schools; and more.

    Feb 29, 2016