University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Social Psychology Seminar Series (SPSS) > Misinformation: Subjective beliefs, Source credibility, and Social Networks

Misinformation: Subjective beliefs, Source credibility, and Social Networks

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Cecilie Steenbuch Traberg.

Misinformation is a significant societal challenge with impact on health, elections, and more. To understand why and how misinformation spreads in society as well as gauge the impact of interventions, we have to consider multiple factors such as cognitive functions (e.g. belief revision, cognitive biases), social functions (e.g. the social networks people inhabit, socio-cultural norms), and structural elements (e.g. algorithms that promote information on social media, legislation). As such, it is hardly surprising that several strands of research explore the impact and spread of misinformation. In this talk, I focus on the interplay between belief revision and social structure by considering Bayesian approaches to source credibility and dependencies as well as how these models unfold in dynamic and complex information systems. I present research on cognitive models that test belief revision predictions and consider how these can be implemented in agent-based models to explore facets such as echo chamber formation, micro-targeting, and inoculation. While I provide some supportive evidence for the Bayesian models, I highlight key limitations around the complications of reliability as well as consider perspectives for the construction of larger information models that integrate insights from cognitive and social psychology as well as disciplines like anthropology and political science.

This talk is part of the Social Psychology Seminar Series (SPSS) series.

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