Title

First Amendment Knowledge and Competence in United States Residents

Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3624-9188

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-5-2021

DOI

10.1002/bsl.2516

Abstract

Lacking adequate knowledge about one's rights could inhibit the likelihood of exercising one's rights or lead one to unwittingly violate laws that place legitimate limits on these rights. Thus, the present research examines First Amendment knowledge as well as competence to apply this knowledge in relevant circumstances. Results revealed that one-quarter of participants failed a test of objective knowledge on First Amendment rights. Furthermore, participants' belief in their ability varied depending on their level of knowledge, in line with the Dunning–Kruger effect. Participants also failed to transfer their limited objective knowledge to “real-world” situations, exhibiting impaired First Amendment competence. These findings suggest that US residents' levels of knowledge and competence related to First Amendment rights and protections could be improved to promote a safe, knowledgeable, and democratic society

Comments

Bernstein, K. M.,† & Najdowski, C. J. (Advanced online publication). First Amendment knowledge and competence in U.S. residents. Behavioral Sciences & the Law. DOI: 10.1002/bsl.2516

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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