Sumitra Badrinathan



I am a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oxford's Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. In May 2021, I received a PhD in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

My research focuses on political communication in South Asia, with an emphasis on new platforms like WhatsApp and their effects on political misinformation, media trust, and the quality of democracy. I use experimental and survey methods to investigate potential solutions to misinformation in developing countries along with the consequences of misinformation on political and societal outcomes, including vote choice, polarization, and social cohesion.

My work has appeared in academic journals such as the American Political Science Review well as popular press such as The Washington Post.

I hold an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Psychology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

You can access my CV here.

University of Oxford
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
Oxford, OX2 6PS, United Kingdom


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Badrinathan, Sumitra. 2021. Educative Interventions to Combat Misinformation: Evidence From A Field Experiment in India. American Political Science Review, 1-17

Kim, Eunji, Sumitra Badrinathan, Donghyun Danny Choi, Sabrina Karim, and Yang-Yang Zhou. 2021. Navigating Insider and Outsider Status as Researchers Conducting Field Experiments. PS: Political Science & Politics, Forthcoming

Badrinathan, Sumitra, Devesh Kapur, Deepaboli Chatterjee, and Neelanjan Sircar. 2021. Partisan Disagreement: The Role of Media, Personal Networks and Gender in Forming Political Preferences. Urbanisation, Forthcoming

I Don't Think That's True, Bro!" An Experiment on Fact-checking Misinformation in India, with Simon Chauchard
(Under Review)

Leveraging Religiosity Against COVID-19 Misinformation: Experimental Evidence from India, with Simon Chauchard
(Under Review)

Who Believes Misinformation? A Profile of Vulnerability to False News in India
with Simon Chauchard

Fair and Balanced: What News Audiences in Four Countries Mean When They Say They Prefer Impartial News
with Camila Mont'Alverne, Amy Ross Arguedas, Benjamin Toff, Richard Fletcher, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

Media, Trust, and Partisanship in India: Evidence from In-Person Survey Experiments Across Four Cities

Misinformation and Vigilantism in India and Pakistan: Determinants and Solutions
with Niloufer Siddiqui and Simon Chauchard

The effect of labelling false COVID-19 posts on social media in Brazil, India, UK
with Richard Fletcher, Simge Andi, Benjamin Toff, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

The Puzzle of Indian-American Voting Behavior,
with Milan Vaishnav and Devesh Kapur

The Impact of Anti-Minority Misinformation on Democratic Values and Polarization: Evidence from India

Increasing Trust in News in India Through Field Experiments,
with Benjamin Toff, Amy Ross Arguedas, Camila Mont'Alverne

Badrinathan, Sumitra, and Devesh Kapur. 2021. Religion, Caste, Class, Politics: How Urbanization Affects Social Interactions and Political Behaviors. Chapter.
In Colossus: The Anatomy of Delhi, edited by Sanjoy Chakravorty and Neelanjan Sircar. Cambridge University Press

Political Change in the Third World (PSCI 116)
Teaching Assistant. Instructor: Professor Rudy Sil

Statistics for Political Science (PSCI 338)
Teaching Assistant. Instructor: Professor Marc Meredith
Lab R code is available in this repository.

International Human Rights (PSCI 258)
Teaching Assistant. Instructor: Professor Eileen Doherty-Sil

Introduction to American Politics (PSCI 130)
Teaching Assistant. Instructor: Professor Marc Meredith

Teaching Awards
Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students, University of Pennsylvania (2019)

Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students, University of Pennsylvania (2019)