Older people are worse than young people at telling fact from opinion

Americans over 50 are worse than younger people at telling facts from opinions, according to a new study by Pew Research Center.

Given 10 statements, five each of fact and opinion, younger Americans correctly identified both the facts and the opinions at higher rates than older Americans did. Forty-four percent of younger people identified all five opinions as opinions, while only 26 percent of older people did. And 18-to-29-year-olds performed more than twice as well as the 65+ set. Of the latter group, only 17 percent classified all five facts as factual statements.

On the individual questions, the identification gap was particularly large regarding the nature of the American government and questions about immigration, but there was no statement that younger Americans did not identify with equal or higher accuracy than their elders.