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Misinformation paper co-authored by Kiran Garimella published in Nature Human Behavior


Read the full study co-authored by lab member Kiran Garimella:

Arechar, A. A., Allen, J., Berinsky, A. J., Cole, R., Epstein, Z., Garimella, K., Gully, A., Lu, J. G., Ross, R. M., Stagnaro, M. N., Zhang, Y., Pennycook, G., & Rand, D. G. (2023). Understanding and combatting misinformation across 16 countries on six continents. Nature Human Behaviour, 1–12.


From the study: The spread of misinformation online is a global problem that requires global solutions. To that end, we conducted an experiment in 16 countries across 6 continents (N = 34,286; 676,605 observations) to investigate predictors of susceptibility to misinformation about COVID-19, and interventions to combat the spread of this misinformation. In every country, participants with a more analytic cognitive style and stronger accuracy-related motivations were better at discerning truth from falsehood; valuing democracy was also associated with greater truth discernment, whereas endorsement of individual responsibility over government support was negatively associated with truth discernment in most countries. Subtly prompting people to think about accuracy had a generally positive effect on the veracity of news that people were willing to share across countries, as did minimal digital literacy tips. Finally, aggregating the ratings of our non-expert participants was able to differentiate true from false headlines with high accuracy in all countries via the ‘wisdom of crowds’. The consistent patterns we observe suggest that the psychological factors underlying the misinformation challenge are similar across different regional settings, and that similar solutions may be broadly effective.