UN Communications Coordination Committee Taps Psychology Faculty For Board Position

Associate Lecturer Chrysalis Wright, Ph.D., serves as the Honors in the Major program coordinator for the Department of Psychology. She was recently elected to the board of directors at the Communications Coordination Committee for the United Nations. In an interview with the College of Sciences, Wright shared the latest developments in her research into fake news, and the significance of the recent appointment.

COS: Tell me about your background with fake news. Why is this relevant today, and how have you been able to lend your expertise?

Wright: “I started looking at fake news and misinformation a few years ago when there was an increase in prejudice directed toward Muslim-Americans and immigrants. These reports occurred alongside an increase in fake news and misinformation that spread false claims about these groups. Since the start of this, I have published several research articles on the influence of fake news and misinformation. I also have a Psychology Today blog, and have talked about fake news in various media outlets. I was interviewed as part of the APA’s Speaking of Psychology series on fake news and was invited to participate on a panel in 2018 at the Communications Coordination Committee of the U.N. and later on a panel for the FBI Foreign Influence Task Force on the topic.”

Since then, my students and I have continued to conduct research on fake news: looking at the impact of fake news on stereotypes and prejudice as well as the impact of COVID-19 fake news. Most recently, we’ve looked at how it impacts what people believe about the virus and the steps they take to try and curb the spread of the virus.”

COS: How do you expect to contribute your expertise in coordination with the CCCUN?

Wright: “The work I have been doing with fake news and misinformation is directly related to the goals and mission of the CCCUN. Promoting accurate information, understanding the influence of fake news, proposing ways to curb it, will all help ensure that the public understands the realities of world problems, particularly COVID-19 right now. We’re also promoting solutions based on science and implementing those solutions on a larger scale.”

COS: Tell me about the significance of this achievement from a personal and professional standpoint.

Wright: Election to the CCCUN Board of Directors is quite an honor. This accomplishment demonstrates the importance and relevance of the research conducted here at UCF and shows that the findings span beyond our area.


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