We detail the scope of texstpeak problem and discuss the negative influence that COVID misinformation can have on the widespread adoption of health protective behaviors in the population. In response, we explore how insights from the behavioral sciences can be leveraged to manage an effective societal response to curb the spread of misinformation about the virus.
In particular, we discuss the theory of psychological inoculation or prebunking as an efficient vehicle for conferring large-scale psychological resistance against fake news. The emergence of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in December of has quickly led to a global pandemic claiming hundreds of hoaax of deaths worldwide already Roser et al.
Wriring the absence of an effective viral hoax student writing essay in textspeak or vaccine, researchers have pointed out that managing the pandemic response will require leveraging insights from the social and behavioral sciences, particularly with regard to non-pharmaceutical interventions and containing the spread of misinformation about COVID Depoux viral hoax student writing essay in textspeak al.
Site Information Navigation
This makes it harder for people to find trustworthy and reliable information when they need it. In this article, we ask three critical questions to help better inform societal response to the infodemic, namely; 1 what is the scope and reach of misinformation about COVID in the general population, viral hoax student writing essay in textspeak what evidence is there to suggest that misinformation about the virus is undermining public support for—and the viral hoax student writing essay in textspeak of—preventative health behaviors; writibg 3 how can insights from psychology be leveraged to effectively manage societal response to help limit the spread of influential misinformation?
But misinformation about COVID is not limited to information that is blatantly true or false, which widens the scope of the problem. For example, although the harms and benefits of hydroxychloroquine as esxay potential treatment are indeed being studied, there is currently no scientific consensus on its effectiveness Geleris et al. Thus, even deciding what counts as misinformation about COVID is a complicated matter, as insights into the causes of and treatments for the virus develop over time.
Nonetheless, it is becoming increasingly clear that misinformation about COVID is a common problem.
Follow The Verge online:
Although mass endorsement of conspiracy theories about the virus is not yet widespread, substantial minorities typically about a third of the sample in the United Kingdom what i like most about myself essay writing the United States report to believe that the virus is either manmade or produced on purpose by powerful organizations Freeman et al.
Another emerging insight is that COVID conspiracies and rampant misinformation can adversely impact the effectiveness of containment strategies. This viral hoax student writing essay in textspeak important as risk perception has been linked to the adoption of COVID preventative health behaviors Dryhurst et al.
A recent study by Uscinski et al. Similar findings were reported by Freeman et al. For example, people who endorsed the conspiracy that the virus is bioengineered were less likely to report compliance with public health guidelines e. Importantly, misinformation about the virus has been shown to have other serious societal viral hoax student writing essay in textspeak as well.
Recent reports have indicated that coronavirus misinformation has been linked to mob attacks, mass poisonings Depoux et al.
In the United Kingdom alone, people have set fire to least 50 phone masts in response to the 5G conspiracy BBC News, and research finds that belief in the 5G conspiracy is linked to violent intentions Jolley and Paterson, Writing a great college admissions essay analyses have been conducted in wtiting United States in response to political polarization over COVID preventative health behaviors Allcott et al.
So far, little attention has been paid to insights from the social and behavioral sciences to combat misinformation about COVID, despite the ample availability of research to draw from Van Bavel et al. One insight that has emerged is that fact-checks tend to spread slower on social media than misinformation Vosoughi et al. In addition, while essqy literacy initiatives are important and can be effective under the right conditions Bode viral hoax student writing essay in textspeak Vraga, ; Guess et al.
In particular, given the practical challenges of fact-checking and the difficulty of correcting misinformation after the damage is already done, researchers have started to viral hoax student writing essay in textspeak prebunking i.
The theory of psychological inoculation takes the historic practice of vaccination in medicine into the realm of resistance to persuasion McGuire, In a medical inoculation, a virus is weakened to the point where it will not make the person sick, but it will trigger protective responses, esay antibodies. In a persuasion inoculation, a strong challenge e.
In both contexts, a similar process is at work: exposure to weakened challenges leads to resistance to stronger challenges. Preemptive refutation of misinformation weakens the misinformation, just as a medical vaccine is often comprised of weakened virus.
For example, in a study on misinformation about climate change, participants were a forewarned that some political actors try to mislead people on the issue and b provided with facts and arguments to refute the misinformation—preemptively—that is, before they were exposed to a full dose of misinformation later on van der Linden et al.
The study found that the inoculation partially immunized people against viral hoax student writing essay in textspeak misinformation see also Maertens et al. A number of things happen during the inoculation process of resistance to influence. One of the most important is threat—the motivation to engage in resistance. In inoculation research, threat is a response to vulnerability McGuire, ; Compton, —for example, when a preemptive inoculation message raises and refutes a persuasive attack e.
The cognitive and affective processes unleashed by threat are varied and powerful, including viral hoax student writing essay in textspeak counterarguing Pfau when writing an essay on paper skip a line al.
For conventional, prophylactic inoculation to take hold, the desired position needs to already be in place—a healthy state Compton, This is the classic approach of inoculation theory. In the context of the coronavirus, this would imply protecting the attitudes of those people who are already following public health guidelines.]