Using emotion and humor to combat science misinformation

“Misinformation is often packaged or framed in simplistic and emotional ways,” said Yeo. “Consider online ‘clickbait’ as an example: Such content often has captivating titles that promote seemingly scandalous information. This encourages the use of mental shortcuts, which can make detecting and parsing falsehoods a challenge.”

According to Yeo and McKasy, the strong emotions that arise from clickbait can impair one’s ability to process information rationally, but the effect of emotions on the detection and acceptance of misinformation is not straightforward. However, advances in research on emotion and relatedly, humor, in science communication reveal how they can be used as strategies to address the problem.

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That makes me mad just reading about it, but at least it only affects other people and not me.


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