Psychological Vaccine

Climate change is undoubtedly the “Hot Topic” of every news portal, across the globe. With the growing concerns regarding the changing patterns of climate, most news sites and social media platforms are giving priority to the news related to climate change. But not much of them are able to distinguish about the genuineness and fakeness of that news.

However, to combat the issues of fake climate change news and reports, a group of psychologists from the University of Cambridge has come up with a ‘Psychological Vaccine’, which will make people better at distinguishing the authentic and counterfeit climate change news.

It is the extreme emergence of phony climate change news on different websites and social media that has inspired the researchers to build up a biological preparation that can inoculate readers against the setback. Through a new study, the team of researchers from the University of Cambridge has come up with a new psychological tool, which can target fact distortion and help people to make a distinction between fake and real news.

In the medical industry, ‘Vaccine’ is known as a biological preparation against the virus causing the exposure of a body to a destabilized version of the danger. Psychologists, following this pattern, believe that the similar logic of Vaccine can be applied to immunize the readers and general people from the misinformation campaign, including the stories related to the websites broadcasting counterfeit news and damaging myths about climate change.

Researchers, in their new study, published in the journal Global Challenges revealed that misinformation campaign of climate change is psychologically affecting readers, across the globe and the fake stories related to US election and Syria are some most obvious examples of the effect.

The study, published in the social journal Global Challenges, was conducted by the social psychologists from the universities of Cambridge, UK, Yale and George Mason, US. The study is one of the first-of-its-kind ‘inoculation theories’, which effectively tries to the replication of the ‘real world’ scenario with the counterfeit information related to the most politicized concept of the current time.

Commenting on this matter, Dr Sander van der Linden, the lead author of the study and a social psychologist from the University of Cambridge and Director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab said, “Misinformation can be oppressive, can spread like a dangerous virus, which if not constrained within certain period can create more damage to the intellectuality of general people.”

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