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Misinformation, Disinformation, and Polarization

A guide to fake news, bad journalism and social media reaction

emotional intelligence (noun)
the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. 


A recent study has suggested the aspects of being highly emotionally intelligent can help individual detect fraudulant information. While more research need to be done on this matter, this study represents just one of a number of studies that link our emotional state with success or failure of misinformation and disinformation in the media and online. 

The following is a presentation that we originally give by Helen Lane and Cody Kirkpatrick in October of 2020 during FIT's Civility Week.

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Bode, L., Vraga, E. K., & Tully, M. (2020). Do the right thing: Tone may not affect correction of misinformation on social media. Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review.

Chuai, Y., & Zhao, J. (2020). Anger makes fake news viral online. ArXiv Preprint ArXiv:2004.10399.

Del Vicario, M., Vivaldo, G., Bessi, A., Zollo, F., Scala, A., Caldarelli, G., & Quattrociocchi, W. (2016). Echo Chambers: Emotional Contagion and Group Polarization on Facebook. Scientific Reports, 6(1), 37825.

Egelhofer, J. L., & Lecheler, S. (2019). Fake news as a two-dimensional phenomenon: A framework and research agenda. Annals of the International Communication Association, 43(2), 97–116.

Hasell, A., & Weeks, B. E. (2016). Partisan Provocation: The Role of Partisan News Use and Emotional Responses in Political Information Sharing in Social Media. Human Communication Research, 42(4), 641–661.

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Weeks, B. E. (2015). Emotions, partisanship, and misperceptions: How anger and anxiety moderate the effect of partisan bias on susceptibility to political misinformation. Journal of Communication, 65(4), 699–719.


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