Who Believes in Fake News? A New and Holistic Approach to Understanding Susceptibility to (Mis)information as a Psycho-cognitive Phenotype (68101)

Session Information: Mental Health
Session Chair: Ying Wai Bryan Ho

Saturday, 1 April 2023 09:30
Session: Session 1
Room: Room 704
Presentation Type:Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

The contemporary media landscape is saturated with ubiquitous disinformation, posing a serious threat to democracy, socio-political stability, and mental health. The present work constitutes a review of a series of experiments conducted in our laboratory that were using a newly developed (mis)information susceptibility scale and a battery of cognitive and psychometric tests. The studies were conducted in a non-clinical population recruited via the online recruitment panel Prolific Academic linked with Qualtrics and Millisecond Inquisit web testing platforms. In my talk, I will focus on the mechanisms determining the dissemination of information, with a particular emphasis on cognitive processes and personality traits that contribute to susceptibility to fake news. I will also talk about the characteristics of the information that make it trustworthy and disseminated and will explain why the probability of behavioral engagement with information is more related to its congruency with the individuals’ preconceived beliefs than it is to its objective truthfulness. Furthermore, I will argue that believing in misinformation does not imply denying the truth and will demonstrate that various phenotypes of sensitivity (mis)information are associated with differences in cognitive processes and personality traits. Finally, I will discuss recent research, which demonstrated that willingness to behaviorally engage with the news can be manipulated pharmacologically. To conclude I will present a basis for a new and holistic approach to understanding susceptibility to (mis)information as a psycho-cognitive phenotype.

--Supported by the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021. Project: 2019/35/J/HS6/03498--

Rafal Rygula, Maj Institute of Pharmacology Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

About the Presenter(s)
Professor Rafal Rygula is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at Maj Institute of Pharmacology Polish Academy of Sciences in Poland

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00