In a review published in the European Review of Social Psychology, researchers explored proactive measures to prevent misinformation from finding traction in the first place, using the psychological theory of “inoculation” as a basis.
Inoculation rests on the idea that if people are forewarned that they might be misinformed and are exposed to weakened examples of the ways in which they might be misled, they will become more immune to misinformation.
The researchers then reviewed a number of techniques that can boost people’s resilience to misinformation. The interventions ranged from general warnings to more specific instructions about misleading—i.e, rhetorical—techniques.
Their research show that, based on the available evidence, inoculation appears to be a promising avenue to help protect people from misinformation and “fake news”.