[Accessed 6 May 2017]
Neutralizing misinformation through inoculation: Exposing misleading argumentation techniques reduces their influence
John Cook, Stephan Lewandowsky, Ullrich K. H. Ecker
Research Article | published 05 May 2017 PLOS ONE
Misinformation can undermine a well-functioning democracy. For example, public misconceptions about climate change can lead to lowered acceptance of the reality of climate change and lowered support for mitigation policies. This study experimentally explored the impact of misinformation about climate change and tested several pre-emptive interventions designed to reduce the influence of misinformation. We found that false-balance media coverage (giving contrarian views equal voice with climate scientists) lowered perceived consensus overall, although the effect was greater among free-market supporters. Likewise, misinformation that confuses people about the level of scientific agreement regarding anthropogenic global warming (AGW) had a polarizing effect, with free-market supporters reducing their acceptance of AGW and those with low free-market support increasing their acceptance of AGW. However, we found that inoculating messages that (1) explain the flawed argumentation technique used in the misinformation or that (2) highlight the scientific consensus on climate change were effective in neutralizing those adverse effects of misinformation. We recommend that climate communication messages should take into account ways in which scientific content can be distorted, and include pre-emptive inoculation messages.
Cost-effectiveness of alternate strategies for childhood immunization against meningococcal disease with monovalent and quadrivalent conjugate vaccines in Canada
Thomas E. Delea, Derek Weycker, Mark Atwood, Dion Neame, Fabián P. Alvarez, Evelyn Forget, Joanne M. Langley, Ayman Chit
Research Article | published 04 May 2017 PLOS ONE