Anxiety and the Effectiveness of Misinformation Fact-Checks

Anxiety and the Effectiveness of Misinformation Fact-Checks

By: Kendall Mitton    Email:

Home Town: Sandpoint, Idaho    High School: Sandpoint High School - 2020

Major: Political Science, Philosophy
Department: Politics & Philosophy
College: College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences


As levels of misinformation rise in the United States, so does the threat to efficient and effective policy-making. Most Americans are subject to misinformation, causing them to actively think/behave against the recommendations and empirical findings of experts. That said, in the absence of misinformation fact-checks and the presence of individual defiance toward corrective information, a variety of problems have been fostered within our borders (e.g., events like Pizzagate and conspiracies about Covid-19). Anxiety may be a factor contributing to this phenomenon, but it has been largely overlooked in previous research. Building off existing scholarship surrounding these variables, I conducted an online survey experiment to test the relationship between anxiety and fact-checks on individual perceptions. After analyzing my results, I found increased levels of anxiety and the presence of fact-checks do not have a significant effect on an individual’s perception about the Covid-19 vaccine. However, anxiety itself has a negative and significant impact on an individual’s perception about the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine.

About Kendall Mitton

Hello! My name is Kendall Mitton and I am a fourth year undergraduate student pursuing a bachelors of science degree in political science and philosophy at the University of Idaho. Outside of class I am involved in multiple clubs at UI including the Vandal Spirit Squad (Cheer), the UI Pre-Law Society, and the new Political Science Journal editorial board. I also spent the 2023 Spring semester working for the university as an undergraduate research assistant to Drs. Bert Baumgaertner and Florian Justwan. I have absolutely loved conducting my own research over the last few months, and I look forward to doing more in the near future!


Products Produced:

Type: Title: Date Published/Presented: DOI:
Poster Anxiety and the Effectiveness of Misinformation Fact-Checks July 19, 2023

Additional Project Information:

Year in College Project Started:  Junior

Faculty Advisor:   Bert  Baumgaertner

Faculty Advisor Email:

Faculty Advisor Website:

Funding Source:  UI Office of Undergraduate Research SURF Grant

External Link to Project Information:  

Project Location:   Moscow, Idaho