The New York Times

A Superhero Power for Our Time: How to Handle the Truth

Lynn Vavreck, a professor of political science at UCLA, is a co-author of “The Gamble,” about the 2012 presidential campaign.

“What one does when faced with the truth is more difficult than you would think.” — Wonder Woman, in the movie released last month.

This goes for all of us, not just superheroes.

The nuances of how people react when faced with the truth have come into focus in today’s increasingly polarized political climate.

A decade ago, comedian Stephen Colbert introduced viewers to the idea of “truthiness,” a quality belonging to claims that were based on gut feelings instead of facts. Last year, the Oxford Dictionaries named the word “post-truth” the word of the year. It’s a description of a general characteristic of our

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