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Fake News & Bad Info: Media Literacy Resources

Learn how language can be used to in a way that it affects the way people perceive reality. Unlike real news, whose purpose is to simply inform, the main purpose of fake news is to confuse and manipulate people.

The Role of Emotion in Information Processing

How We Relate to Information

icon representing emotion and rational thought“We tend to think that we have rational relationships to information, but we don’t. We have emotional relationships to information, which is why the most effective disinformation draws on our underlying fears and worldviews….We’re less likely to be critical of information that reinforces our worldview or taps into our deep-seated emotional responses” (Wardle, qtd. in Vongkiatkajorn; emphasis added).


Source: Bulter, Walter et al. "Disinformation." Introduction to College Research. OER Textbook.

The Emotional Elements 

emotions iconEmotions are often the underlying driver for our beliefs. Stress, particularly unpredictable stress, can lead to a condition called learned helplessness, or feelings of fear and powerlessness. Humans are not good at identifying where stress comes from which can. lead to the "misattribution of emotions," or attributing feeling to different things, sometimes incorrectly. This in turn impacts cognitive functions which reduces our capacity to reason, think, plan and generally make good decisions. Some people feel they are being singled out for a harder lot in life, subjected to additional or unfair hardship or persecution. They seek relief and may find it in emotions like blame and hate. Their needs are mean in part by fixating on a villain. someone they can hold responsible for their lot in life. Conspiracy can be comforting, simple, black and white explanations for a complex world.


Source: Ariely, Dan.  Misbelief: What Makes Rational People Believe Rational Things. Harper: 2023.

Vulnerability to Disinformation - What Role Do Psychology and Emotions Play?

The Role of Psychology and Emotions

followers iconBelow is a speech given by Marina Weisband at the G7 Disinformation Conference 2022 on April, 6 2022. How international authoritarian regimes are utilizing disinfrmation to destroy democratic societies.

Marina Weisband has a degree in psychology and is active in political education. She is an experienced speaker in the fields of political participation, privacy, digital society, media and crises. 

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