Sumitra Badrinathan is a predoctoral research fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. She is currently finishing her PhD in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania and her research interests include studying misinformation, media effects and political behavior, with a regional focus on India.
Sumitra’s dissertation evaluates the effectiveness of interventions to combat political misinformation in India and the power of partisanship and motivated reasoning to affect information processing. To shed light on these questions, her work has focused on techniques to fight fake news on WhatsApp and digital literacy trainings to decrease vulnerability to misinformation. Methodologically, Sumitra uses experimental and survey methods to study the relationship between newer forms of media like WhatsApp and their effect on trust in news, polarization, political participation, and quality of democracy.
Originally from Mumbai, India, Sumitra holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Psychology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.