Fighting Fake News

Dr. Wrights Speaking of Psychology interview on fake news is now available. 

Research in the MM Lab aims to understand various avenues related to fake news and disinformation. These include the influence of exposure to fake news on consumers, identifying fake news, understanding why fake news is wide-spread and often believed, and examining sociodemographic and societal factors that are related to fake news dissemination, acceptance, and belief.

Identifying COVID-19 Fake News

Dr. Wright was interviewed by Well + Good about how to identify COVID-19 fake news.

Fake News and Coronavirus

Dr. Wright was interviewed by Federica Sgorbissa for her Italian podcast series on fake news and coronavirus. The episode is titled “Fake News Epidemic” (Epidemia di fake news).

COVID-19 Fake News and Its Impact on Consumers

Dr. Wright has published op-eds on her Everyday Media Psychology Today blog on COVID-19 fake news.

COVID-19 Fake News on Social Media

Dr. Wright was interviewed by Well + Good about COVID-19 fake news on social media and how consumers can respond.

Speaking of  Psychology

Dr.Wright  was interviewed as part of the Speaking of Psychology series of the American Psychological Association during the 2019 convention on the topic of fake news. The transcript is also available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media and Social Change: Recognizing & Challenging Disinformation, Stereotypes, and Fake News

Dr. Wright was a panelist on the topic at the Communications Coordination Committee for the United Nations.

Foreign Influence Task Force

Panelist for public messaging campaign on malign foreign influence for the FBI Foreign Influence Task Force and the FBI Protected Voices Initiative

Current Research

The MM Lab is currently examining

  • The influence of COVID-19 fake news on attitudes toward Asian Americans
  • The influence of fake news on attitudes regarding underrepresented and marginalized groups in the United States.

Publications on Fake News

Media Portrayals of Immigration and Refugees in Hard and Fake News and their Impact on Consumer Attitudes

Dr. Wright and students Rebecca Brinklow-Vaughn, Kelsea Johannes, and Fiordaliz Rodrigues examined the effect of media portrayals of immigrants and refugees on participant attitudes using an experimental design. Participants included 196 male and female college students who were primed with either negative or positive media portrayals of immigrants and refugees from either hard or fake news sources, or no media portrayals. Participants then answered questions regarding immigrants, immigration policy, and Islamophobia. Results indicated significant differences based on experimental condition for viewing immigration as an economic, cultural diversity, and humanitarian benefit, as well as cognitive Islamophobia. Additionally, the effect of media portrayals, whether positive or negative, in video clips had a stronger effect on participants if the video clips originated from a fake news source. Biological sex, race, social class, and political affiliation were found to relate to participant susceptibility to media portrayals from both hard and fake news sources.

For further information please see the following article:

Wright, C. L., Brinklow-Vaughn, R., Johannes, K., & Rodriguez, F. (in press). Media Portrayals of Immigration and Refugees in Hard and Fake News and their Impact on Consumer Attitudes. The Howard Journal of Communications.

The Influence of Media Portrayals of Immigration and Refugees on Consumer Attitudes: An Experimental Design

Dr. Wright and students Taylor DeFrancesco, Carissa Hamilton, and Lygia Machado conducted an experimental design that examined media portrayals of immigrants and refugees and participants attitudes regarding immigrants, immigration policy, and Islamophobia. Participants included 284 male and female college students who were primed with negative, positive, or no media portrayals of immigrants and refugees prior to completing questionnaires related to their views regarding immigrants, immigration policy, and Islamophobia. Significant differences were found based on experimental condition for viewing immigration as an economic, physical, social cohesion, and modernity threat as well as physical benefits of immigration, intolerant attitudes toward immigrants, and affective-behavioral and cognitive Islamophobia. Participants who were primed with negative media portrayals reported more negative attitudes. Additionally, biological sex, race, social class, and political and religious affiliation were found to relate to participant susceptibility to media portrayals of immigration and refugees.

For further information please see the following article:

Wright, C. L., DeFrancesco, T., Hamilton, C., & Machado, L. (2019). The influence of media portrayals of immigration and refugees on consumer attitudes: An experimental design. The Howard Journal of Communications.

Additional Publications

COVID-19 News Coverage was published in the spring/summer 2020 edition of the Amplifier.

Additional Presentations on Fake News

Wright, C. L., Klein, R., Poffenroth, M., & Birne-Stone, S. (2019). Fake news and misinformation – why it has spread and why it matters. American Psychological Association.

Wright, C. L., DeFrancesco, T., Hamilton, C., & Machado, L. (2019). The Influence of Media Portrayals of Immigration and Refugees on Consumer Attitudes. American Psychological Association.