as informed in Scientists say they’ve developed a psychological ‘vaccine’ for fake news, which can be used to inoculate the public against misinformation.
Specifically, that only 1 percent of the signatories on the Oregon petition had a background in climate science.
“Misinformation can be sticky, spreading and replicating like a virus,” said lead researcher, Sander van der Linden from the University of Cambridge.
“A lot of people’s attitudes toward climate change aren’t very firm.
They began by examining their thoughts on climate change – a politically charged issue often compromised with misinformation, despite having a solid grounding in facts and research.
Scientists develop fake news ‘vaccine’ to combat climate change myths
Some participants were presented with a pie chart illustrating a scientifically sound fact: “97% of scientists agree on manmade climate change”.
“A lot of people’s attitudes toward climate change aren’t very firm”.It was found that viewing the correct opinion on consensus led to a 20-percent increase in agreement.
Following the inoculation, the participants retained the accurate information even after they were exposed to contradicting false claims.
Interestingly, inoculation worked whether people identified as Democrat, Republican, or Independent; and it counteracted the tendency for Republican participants to be somewhat more swayed by the misinformation than the other two groups.
The primary goal of these researchers is to offer a cognitive tool that helps people become immune to fake news and thus, the next time they come across such news; they should be less vulnerable.
Psychologists say they can inoculate people against fake news
Researchers have found that there may be a way to vaccinate people against climate change misinformation.
A team of psychologists from the University of Cambridge, Yale University and George Mason University studied the effect of “fake news” about climate change and how it can shift people’s opinions.
“There will always be people completely resistant to change,” van der Linden said.
They also presented them with the accurate statement — based on a 2013 study — “97 per cent of scientists agree on manmade climate change.”
Those who were shown only the website that contained misinformation, dropped their belief in a consensus by nine per cent.
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