The past ain’t always better – according to this latest research at least…
Daily brief research updates from the cognitive sciences
Wouldn’t it be great in the current world if we could inoculate people against misinformation. Sigh! But that will never happen. Wait, you say, it can happen, it is possible, it works! Oh, please tell me more!
Yes, very good news on the misinformation wars.
So, what is this inoculation and how does it work?
Teams of scientists from the University of Cambridge and Bristol behind the Inoculation Science project collaborated with Jigsaw a unit within Google dedicated to tackling threats to open societies.
After conducting seven different experiments with 30’000 participants, they found that viewing a single clip increases awareness of misinformation. The videos introduce concepts from the “misinformation playbook” and includes relatable examples from popular film and TV.
This information is effective for all populations groups and political groupings – simply because most people don’t want to be manipulated. Rather than state opinions the videos are neutral just showing the tricks that are used to manipulate people and this is why they are so effective.
So how can this be spread to the world at large. Well, easily, through YouTube with over 2 billion users worldwide. Google owns YouTube and plans to start a roll out a wave of prebunking programmes in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech republic targeted at emerging disinformation on Ukrainian refugees.
However, the effect is consistent and large compared to other effects such as brand awareness after advertising, but it is only a 5% increase – nothing to be sniffed at but still a long way to go.
Nevertheless, good news, and I hope they get this rolled out in other areas soon. The world needs more prebunking!
Andy is author of leading brains Review, Neuroleadership, and multiple other books. He has been intensively involved in writing and research into neuroleadership and is considered one of Europe’s leading experts. He is also a well-known public speaker, speaking on the brain and human behaviour.
Andy is also a masters athlete (middle distance running) and competes regularly at international competitions (and holds a few national records in his age category).
Jon Roozenbeek, Sander van der Linden, Beth Goldberg, Steve Rathje, Stephan Lewandowsky.
Psychological inoculation improves resilience against misinformation on social media.
Science Advances, 2022; 8 (34)
More Quick Hits
New technologies, new research? No, the old methods are the best, and it’s surprisingly simple.
This may sound like a strange thing to say – but talent and team coordination are different things…
Fascinating study on how antioxidants (and therefore also nutrition) in the brain can increase motivation…
An important study showing how mindfulness is as effective as medication – without the side effects…
Teenagers’ brains go through substantial changes – and now we know more of some of these…