Pew Research Center has examined how people think about democracy, trust in institutions, and the role of information in society for more than a decade. In light of current debates about the state of the democratic process and the importance of truth, the Center has further deepened its focus on public attitudes about the role of trust and facts in democracy. This page is a curation of the most relevant content on those topics.
How countries around the world view democracy, military rule and other political systems
Many around the world say representative democracy is a good way to run their country. Compare global views of political systems and read six key findings.
Political Polarization, 1994-2017
The interactive chart below illustrates the shift in the American public’s political values over the past two decades, using a scale of 10 questions asked together on seven Pew Research Center surveys since 1994.
The Future of Truth and Misinformation Online
Experts are split on whether the coming years will see less misinformation online. Those who foresee improvement hope for technological and societal solutions. Others say bad actors using technology can exploit human vulnerabilities.
Globally, Broad Support for Representative and Direct Democracy
Across the world, a median of 78% say representative democracy is a good way to govern their country. Yet, pro-democracy views coexist with openness to nondemocratic forms of governance.
The Partisan Divide on Political Values Grows Even Wider
Gaps between Republicans and Democrats over racial discrimination, immigration and poverty assistance have widened considerably in recent years.
Covering President Trump in a Polarized Media Environment
During the early days of the administration, similar storylines were covered across outlets, but the types of sources cited and assessments of Trump’s actions differed.
Science News and Information Today
Overall, 36% of Americans get science news at least a few times a week and three-in-ten actively seek it. Most get science news from general news outlets, but more see specialty sources as being accurate.
The Fate of Online Trust in the Next Decade
Many experts say lack of trust won’t hinder increased public reliance on the internet. Some expect trust to grow as tech and regulatory changes arise; others think it will worsen or maybe change entirely.
Sharp Partisan Divisions in Views of National Institutions
Republicans and Democrats offer starkly different assessments of the impact of several of the nation’s leading institutions – including the news media, colleges and universities and churches and religious organizations
Americans’ Attitudes About the News Media Deeply Divided Along Partisan Lines
Today, roughly nine-in-ten Democrats say news media criticism helps keep leaders in line, while only about four-in-ten Republicans say the same.