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.
Public Trust in Government Remains Near Historic Lows as Partisan Attitudes Shift
Changes in the dynamics of power in Washington have registered with members of both political parties.
The Future of Free Speech, Trolls, Anonymity and Fake News Online
Many experts fear uncivil and manipulative behaviors on the internet will persist – and may get worse.
Large Majorities See Checks and Balances, Right to Protest as Essential for Democracy
Large majorities of the public, Republicans and Democrats alike, say open and fair elections and a system of governmental checks and balances are essential to maintaining a strong democracy in the United States.
Partisan Conflict and Congressional Outreach
A new Pew Research Center analysis of more than 200,000 press releases and Facebook posts from the official accounts of members of the 114th Congress uses methods from the emerging field of computational social science to quantify how often legislators themselves “go negative” in their outreach to the public.
Trump, Clinton Voters Divided in Their Main Source for Election News
Trump voters named one source more than any other as their main source of election news, whereas Clinton voters were spread across an array of sources.
Many Americans Believe Fake News Is Sowing Confusion
About two-in-three U.S. adults say fake news stories cause a great deal of confusion about the basic facts of current issues. And nearly a quarter say they have ever shared completely made-up news.
The Modern News Consumer
Digital innovation has had a major impact on the public’s news habits. How have these changes shaped Americans’ appetite for and attitudes toward the news?
U.S. Public Becoming Less Religious
There has been a modest drop in overall rates of belief in God and participation in religious practices. But religiously affiliated Americans are as observant as before.
Public and Scientists’ Views on Science and Society
Both the American public and scientists value the contributions of science, but there are large differences in how each perceives science-related issues.
Political Polarization & Media Habits
When it comes to getting news about politics and government, liberals and conservatives inhabit different worlds. There is little overlap in the news sources they turn to and trust.