Research Featured in The New Republic

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From the piece:

Research shows that the higher one’s consumption of such media, the more likely people were to reject the scientific consensus regarding the nature of the virus and how to minimize its spread. As the political scientists Matt Motta, Dominick Stecula, and Christina Farhart recently wrote [...]

Interview KFAQ About OK Primary Elections & Medicaid Expansion

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We discuss June's primary results, Medicaid expansion in OK, and what it all means for the upcoming runoff and general elections. 

Interview with Tulsa World about Oklahoma's Primary Elections & Medicaid Expansion

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I talk with Tulsa World about what Oklahoma's 2020 primary election results and the passage of Medicaid Expansion might imply for the 2020 General Election. 

Interview with The Upshot (New York Times) About Trust in the Scientific Community During COVID-19

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From the piece: "In the face of those headwinds, the high levels of trust in scientists are remarkable. “I haven’t seen much evidence that trust in scientists or trust in the scientific community has eroded,” said Matt Motta, an assistant professor of political science at Oklahoma State University, who studies the intersection of politics and science. But he said he was still concerned about the future, particularly if a vaccine is approved, which would require widespread adoption to protect a community."

Interview with the AP about Oklahoma's June Primary Elections

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From the piece: "Republicans clearly see OK-5 as one of their best chances to ‘flip’ a House seat, and they’re correct to see it that way,” said Matthew Motta, a political science professor at Oklahoma State University. “The race has attracted several fairly well-financed challengers. And, because President Trump won the district by more than 13% in 2016, most non-partisan election analysts classify the race as a toss-up.”"

Interview with The Atlantic about Alternative Medicine & COVID-19

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I talk about the possibility that the popularity of alternative remedies for COVID-19 could interfere with evidence-based efforts to support collective immunity. 

Interview with NBC (KJRH) About Pres. Trump's 6/20 Tulsa Rally

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We talk about the electoral strategy of holding a major indoor event in Tulsa, in the middle of a global pandemic, and why turnout for the event was lower than the campaign initially expected. 

Interview with The Atlantic about COVID Misinformation and Vaccination Intentions

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From the piece: “How quickly do we forget?” wonders Matt Motta, a political scientist at Oklahoma State University. “How long does it take for us to say, ‘Okay, that wasn’t so bad’?” By the time a vaccine is on the market, the worst of the coronavirus crisis may very well be over. The strictest shelter-at-home restrictions will likely be lifted too. All the misinformation aside, a vaccine, instead of being like a savior, may feel like too little, too late.

Interview with TIME Magazine on COVID-19 Vaccine Skepticism

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From the piece: "approximately one in five Americans have already expressed unwillingness to get an eventual COVID-19 vaccine, according to an April 15 survey undertaken by Matt Motta, an assistant professor of political science at Oklahoma State University, and Kristin Lunz Trujillo, a University of Minnesota graduate student."

Op-Ed in Tulsa World on Vote by Mail

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With Josh Jansa: we explore how concerns about COVID-19 might be neutralizing the partisan disagreement about support for universal vote by mail. 

Piece in The Conversation on COVID-19 Vaccination Intentions

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Title: "A majority of vaccine skeptics plan to refuse a COVID-19 vaccine, a study suggests, and that could be a big problem." 

Republished in outlets like: Snopes, US News and World Report, Salon. 

Interview with CBS News About Anti-Vaxxers & COVID-19 Concern

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"Motta analyzed two sets of Pew Research Survey data that had overlapping respondents (one on Americans' concerns over COVID-19 and the other on Americans' views on childhood vaccines), and found a 40% overlap between those skeptical of vaccine safety and those who believe the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is exaggerating the risks of COVID-19."

ABC (KTUL) Super Tuesday Coverage

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I break down Oklahoma's Super Tuesday results throughout the evening, and explain the logistics of the primary process in a supplemental Facebook Live video

ABC (KTUL) Super Tuesday Roundtable

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"Tulsa's Channel 8 hosted a "Your Voice, Your Vote" roundtable with former Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, former congressional candidate Tim Gilpin, and Oklahoma State University political science professor Dr. Matt Motta"

APSA Public Outreach -- Interview & Profile

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I talk about best practices for doing public facing research as an early career scholar with the American Political Science Association (APSA).

Interview with KOCO (ABC, OKC)

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Dr. Mendez and I chat with ABC's morning show about the Senate impeachment trial, and respond to viewer tweets live on air. 

Research Featured in New York Times

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Daunting as the problem may be, millions of people still don’t accept the premise of its existence: Depending on how you ask, only about half to two-thirds of Americans believe that climate change is caused by humans, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center.

Research Featured in the LA Times

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“If climate scientists are not seen as dedicated to providing reliable information in as neutral a way as possible, that could erode support,” Caldeira said.

 

Indeed, a 2018 survey found that the March for Science had a polarizing effect on people’s opinions of scientists, increasing positive attitudes among liberals and negative attitudes among conservatives.

Will Oklahomans Support Medicaid Expansion? We Need More Polling

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Op-ed in Tulsa World about the state of Medicare Expansion public opinion polling in Oklahoma (including original analysis of CCES data).

Interview with KJRH (NBC) About Special Election Turnout

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I discuss expected turnout and results of Tulsa's special election on the Improve Our Tulsa ballot initiative.

Interview with KOCO (ABC) about Impeachment Inquiry & 2020 Election

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Discussion about the impeachment inquiry into Pres. Trump, and what to expect in the 2020 House & Senate races in Oklahoma. 

Conspiracy theories and fear of needles contribute to vaccine hesitancy for many parents

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Discussion of our Social Science and Medicine article on the psychological correlates of parental vaccine delay behavior, and the challenges that this presents for science communication.

Research Featured in The Upshot (NYT)

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Research published in Social Science and Medicine cited as evidence of the Dunning Kruger effect in public health, and a challenge for science communication efforts to combat anti-vaccine misinformation. 

Research Features by PreventionWeb (United Nation Office of Disaster Risk Reduction)

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Article published at Behavioural Public Policy featured on the United Nation's Office of Disaster Risk Reduction's PreventionWeb news site.

Interview with WNHN on Earthquake Disaster Policy

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"We speak to Matt Motta, Professor at Oklahoma State University, about how to convince people to pay attention to real risks that they will likely face. Using earthquakes as an example, our guest explains how some folks do not have sufficient information about potential risks, while other people avoid thinking about the problem. Either way, the likely victims don’t take any action to protect themselves from risks."

Americans focus on responding to earthquake damage, not preventing it, because they're unaware of their risk

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Summary of our work, published at Behavioural Public Policy, in the aftermath of two major earthquakes in southern California. 

Interview with Earther about Earthquake Risk

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From the article:

 

“People like it when politicians respond to disasters,” Motta said. “But we don’t care nearly as much about the preventative side. I think what we observed last week in Southern California should be a wake-up call.”

Do most Americans believe in climate change? The answer is more complicated than you might think.

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Monkey Cage piece about how question design influences the measurement of public climate change beliefs. (With: Dom Stecula, Dan Champan, & Kathryn Haglin).

Interview with Earther (Gizmodo) on Climate Change Opinion

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Interview with Earther about The Guardian's new editorial style recommendations regarding how journalists refer to climate change, and how "crisis" language might disengage skeptical audiences. 

Research on Climate Change Opinion Featured at Axios

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""New research out this week on climate-change polling and an interview with a Republican lawmaker have underscored the importance of words when it comes to such a complicated and divisive topic.

What they found: Researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center say the proportion of Americans who think climate change is driven by human activity ranges from 50%–71%, all simply based on how you ask the question."

Interview with ABC's "The Signal" Podcast

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Interview with ABC (AUS) The Signal podcast about the pervasiveness, causes, and policy consequences of anti-vaccine attitudes in the U.S. 

Many Americans think that climate-change deniers ‘get what they deserve’ when disasters strike

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Monkey Cage post about "victim blaming" and negative partisanship. With Steven Webster.

Newsweek Op-Ed on Anti-Vaccine Attitudes

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A summary of our work at Social Science and Medicine, via The Conversation. (With Tim Callaghan & Steven Sylvester).

Interview with BEME News (CNN-backed YouTube Channel)

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"Vaccines might be one of the greatest medical accomplishments in history, mitigating deadly diseases such as smallpox, polio, and measles. Then why, in the last two decades, has the anti-vaccine movement gained significant traction? Lou discusses how misinformation and bad “science” can put children all over the world at risk."

Countering misinformation about flu vaccine is harder than it seems

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With Kathryn Haglin & Dominik Stecula.

 

"Looking at the latest research, we review the effectiveness of several communication strategies designed to reduce misinformation about the flu – and childhood – vaccines."

Research Featured in FiveThirtyEight's Election Night Coverage

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Research on the STEM candidates who ran for Congress in 2018 was featured during FiveThirtyEight's election night coverage.

Interview with Good Question (WCCO - CBS)

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Why do campaigns "go negative," and are they effective? I discuss what recent research in political communication has to say on these questions.

Teaching the public more science likely won’t boost support for funding, but sparking their curiosity might

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Piece on my recent article on Americans' science funding attitudes, published in Public Understanding of Science. 

Is America's distrust of 'elites' becoming more toxic? (Interview with CSM)

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“But one of the things that I often tell people is that it’s important to recognize that while the distrust of scientists and while the rejection of scientific consensus is more common on the ideological right, it exists on the ideological left as well,” says Motta. “It is less common, but there are certain issues on which liberals look a lot like conservatives in their rejection of science and scientific expertise.”

No Jargon Podcast (Episode 143)

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"Knowledge is power. Or at least that’s how the saying goes — but when it comes to climate change and its causes, that knowledge hasn’t translated into action. Postdoctoral Fellow Matthew Motta discusses why climate research is often disregarded, where Americans’ suspicion of scientists comes from, and how our interest in science affects our trust in scientists."

Research Featured at FiveThirtyEight

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"Science can polarize people, as well as bring them together. The 2017 March for Science exacerbated — rather than healed — partisan divides, according to a survey published in the journal Political Science and Politics by Matthew Motta, a postdoctoral fellow in the science of science communication at the University of Pennsylvania."

Why vaccine opponents think they know more than medical experts -- The Conversation

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Summary of recent research published at Social Science & Medicine (w/ Tim Callaghan & Steven Sylvester). 

Research Featured at Big Think

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From Paul Rautner: "A survey carried out by a team led by the postdoctoral researcher Dr. Matt Motta at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, found that people “low in autism awareness,” who lacked knowledge about basic facts and were keen to believe misinformation, were more likely to believe they knew the topic better than the experts. This “overconfidence,” as the scientists called it, led to the people not supporting mandatory vaccinations policies and exhibiting skepticism about the role of medical professionals in political decision-making. " 

Scholars Strategy Network Policy Brief

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Policy brief about the enduring and bipartisan effects of science interest on trust in climate scientists. 

Guest Post: Cultural Cognition Blog

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" In a study recently published at Nature Climate Change, I demonstrate that interest in scientific topics at young ages (12-14)  is associated with increased trust in climate scientists decades later in adulthood, across the ideological spectrum. "

Blog Post at ISPP on Nature Climate Change Article

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"In a letter recently published at Nature Climate Change, I investigate the effect of young adults’ (aged 12-14) interest in scientific issues (“science interest”) on trust in climate scientists, when they become older. Analyzing longitudinal survey data from the Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY), I find that people who are highly interested in science at young ages tend to be more trusting of climate scientists in adulthood"

Research Featured in Ars Technica

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"A study done by Matthew Motta of the University of Minnesota delves into how people might escape ideological blinders. Motta found that people with a long-term interest in science tend to trust scientific authorities like NASA and the IPCC when it comes to climate, regardless of what their political persuasions may be. It's the latest result that indicates that a "scientific curiosity" can get people past their ideology."

Interview with Earther on "Flat Earthers"

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I discuss why so many Millennials are open to the possibility that the world isn't round, and discuss why recent survey results might be over-estimating Flat Earth support. 

Interview with Earther about Independents' Climate Change Attitudes

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Political Independents have become more skeptical toward climate change consensus in the past year. I discuss how recent changes in the group of people who call themselves Independents might explain this phenomenon.

Interview with Mashable about Cambridge Analytica and Microtargeting

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In wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, many are asking whether or not microtargeting "works." I discuss relevant academic research on the subject, and argue that more personalized advertising isn't necessarily more effective. 

Interview with Earther on the March for Science

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Interview with Brian Kahn (Earther) about where the March for Science stands, half a year later.

Interview with Access MN

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Interview with Access MN Radio about the decline of trust in experts, and what that means for American democracy.

‘Had enough of experts?’ Anti-intellectualism is linked to voters’ support for movements that are skeptical of expertise (LSE USAPP Blog)

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LSE USAPP blog post about the dynamics and implications of anti-intellectualism in the United States.

Republicans are increasingly antagonistic toward experts. Here’s why that matters. (Washington Post)

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Monkey Cage post on growing dislike for experts, and the implications that has for American politics.

Are "gay" and "homosexual" the same? Here's what we found - Monkey Cage (Washington Post)

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Blog post about why some Americans conceive of two seemingly-synonymous terms quite differently, and the political implications of these differences.

Research Featured at "The Upshot" (New York Times)

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Brendan Nyhan discusses the potentially polarizing effects of the March for Science on public opinion. I offer some quotes and new data on the March, and its influence on public attitudes toward scientists, academics, and their research more broadly.

Interview with Detektor TV (DK)

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Interview about recent Washington Post article on the prevalence of "Trumpism" in Denmark.

Trumpism is just as popular in Denmark as the United States - Monkey Cage (Washington Post)

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Monkey Cage post about the popularity of Donald Trump in Denmark, compared to the United States.

"Facebook Friends go Nuclear" - Rochester Post Bulletin

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Interview with Matt Stolle about the aftermath of the 2016 Election on social media.

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Discussion of national election polls in the final week of the 2016 Presidential Campaign

Interview with Vox about Sinclair Pandemic Story

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From the piece: “Even though many Americans accept misinformation about the origins of Covid-19 (e.g., that it was created in a lab), belief in the ‘Plandemic’ conspiracy has largely been relegated to only the most ardent conspiracy theorists. That’s in part due to the relatively swift action social media companies took to remove the video from their platforms,” he wrote. “Sinclair’s decision to air this interview without challenging its claims risks pushing some of these extreme views into the mainstream.”

Interview with BBC about the Virtual DNC

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I chat with the BBC about the upcoming virtual DNC, and what it might imply for the 2020 Election.

Interview with NBC (KJRH) About Local Ballot Initiatives

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I discuss the specifics of two ballot proposals on Tulsa's 8/25 ballot, and their potential implications for city governance. 

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