Two election watchers argue as they wait for returns to roll in.

Two election watchers argue as they wait for returns to roll in.

Can facts change beliefs?

Research is still being done on the topic. But, the fact that it’s unclear if that’s the case says a lot about how firmly held our opinions can be. If an army of fact-checkers can’t move a mind, what can?

This summer, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt asked his readers to choose an issue and really grapple with it. He pushed them to do the research and see if maybe any seeds of doubt on a subject could sprout.

And now, we issue Leonhardt’s challenge to you: dive into one of your closely held beliefs, then see what happens. Will your views evolve? Or will you walk away with more fodder to try to change others’ minds?



  • David Leonhardt Op-ed columnist, The New York Times; former editor, The Upshot; @DLeonhardt
  • Brendan Nyhan Professor of political science, Dartmouth College; @BrendanNyhan
  • Emile Bruneau Director, Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab, Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Kate Kendell Executive director, National Center for Lesbian Rights; @katekendell

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