CivicScience continually tracks current and anticipated consumer trends. Here are three key insights marketers should know this week. All insights are derived from the CivicScience Social | Political | Economic | Cultural (SPEC) Report, a weekly report available to clients covering the latest news and insights. Get in touch to learn more. 

1. Consumer trust in news sources to deliver unbiased coverage continues to decline.

With the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas, concerns are mounting over the spread of misinformation about the conflict on social media. According to new CivicScience data, social media has taken on a more prominent role as a source for breaking news since 2019 – Americans are eight percentage points less likely to get breaking news from national news websites and four points more likely to get breaking news from social media.

This doesn’t mean that most Americans trust everything they read on social media, however. Only 4% of U.S. adults say that social media posts are the most reliable source for unbiased news. In fact, since 2020, the percentage of U.S. adults who say they don’t trust any news source increased five points to 43%. During the same time, trust in broadcast network news decreased by five points to 13%.

Fifty-four percent of U.S. adults are very concerned about the spread of misinformation on social media. Concern varies by which social media platforms respondents use. Regular Facebook users are eight points more likely than Instagram and Reddit users and 12 points more likely than TikTok users to say they are ‘very concerned’ about the spread of misinformation.

2. One in four Americans think the eventual selection of a House Speaker will have a major impact on their personal lives.

The removal of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House was a move that just one-third of Americans supported. As the campaign to find his replacement continues, Americans are divided on how much they think it really matters. More than 40% of U.S. adults say the selection of a new speaker will have a major impact on government policy, while 38% expect it will only have a minor impact, and the remaining 18% do not think it will have any impact at all. Democrats are 10 percentage points more likely than Republicans to expect the new Speaker to have a major impact on policy.

In terms of how Americans feel a new speaker will impact them personally, 1-in-4 believe the selection of a new Speaker of the House will have a ‘major impact’ on their personal lives, while 36% expect it to have ‘no impact at all.’ Republicans are 14 percentage points more likely than Democrats to believe it will not impact them at all.

3. The ability to see products before buying them is a primary motivation for in-person holiday shoppers.

With the holiday season fast approaching, what is motivating holiday shoppers to head to the store for gifts this year? Ongoing CivicScience holiday tracking data find the ability to see and touch products before committing to a purchase is the most popular source of enjoyment for in-person shoppers – even more so for older Americans. Younger Americans, meanwhile, believe the best part of in-store shopping is taking advantage of in-store deals and promotions. Holiday decorations and displays also rank highly among the Gen Pop and adults 45+ (25% and 35% respectively).

For online holiday shopping, Gen Z adults have a similar motivation – shopping online allows them to find the vendors offering the best prices on items they are interested in. Older online shoppers, meanwhile, are more likely to say they are shopping online to avoid crowds and trips to the store.

Want to see more of the in-depth and detailed consumer insights found in this report not covered here?  Connect with us to see how you can gain access to the full SPEC Report sent to clients every week.