Finding the truth of anything can be a difficult task, especially today when you have so many media outlets, even those that claim to be legitimate and unbiased and push you down a certain path. Sander van der Linden, a social psychologist at the University of Cambridge, believes we can avoid believing deception.
Studying how POWs were brainwashed in the 1960s and William McGuire’s work on how exposure to a more minor attack on one’s beliefs could help prevent total mind control, Van der Linden believes that microdosing with misinformation can help people detect BS in advance online.
For example, Van der Linden led a study that revolved around a Facebook petition claiming that there was not enough scientific evidence to support climate change. Before showing his participants the petition, Van der Linden warned them that there was obvious misinformation, claiming that former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell was a scientist who had signed the petition. This then led participants to reject the petition as soon as they saw it.
The idea is based on the concept that by the time we get misinformation, we cannot defend ourselves with other facts and real information. Therefore, by getting an idea that what we are looking at is wrong, we can defend ourselves against deception in other messages.
What do you think? Will people still fall for clickbait and disinformation?