Professor of Social Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 | 12:00 noon – ICGEB SOUTH AFRICA

Psychological Inoculation Against Misinformation

Host: L. Donaldson

Much like a viral contagion, misinformation can spread rapidly from one individual to another. Moreover, once lodged in memory, misinformation is difficult to correct. Inoculation theory therefore offers a natural basis for developing a psychological‘vaccine’ against the spread of fake news and misinformation. Specifically, in a series of randomized lab and field studies, we’ll show that it is possible to pre-emptively “immunize” people against disinformation about a wide range of topics by pre-exposing them to severely weakened doses of the techniques that underlie its production.

The process of ‘prebunking’ helps people cultivate cognitive antibodies in a simulated social media environment.

During the talk, we’ll showcase several award-winning real-world games and interventions we developed and empirically evaluated in 20 languages—with governments and social media companies—to help citizens around the world recognize and resist unwanted attempts to influence and mislead


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