Active versus passive: evaluating the effectiveness of inoculation techniques in relation to misinformation about climate change

Green, Madison, McShane, Connar Jo, and Swinbourne, Anne (2022) Active versus passive: evaluating the effectiveness of inoculation techniques in relation to misinformation about climate change. Australian Journal of Psychology, 74 (1). e2113340.

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Abstract

Objective: The current study evaluated whether an active inoculation (interactive skill development) or a passive inoculation message (provision of information) were effective tools for conferring resistance to misinformation about climate science in the context of extreme weather events.

Method: Participants were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions: a control condition (no training); a passive inoculation condition; or an active inoculation condition. Participants completed demographic questions followed by training or no training and then evaluated a misinformation and factual article for reliability and persuasiveness.

Results: Participants in the active inoculation condition rated the reliability and persuasiveness of the misinformation article and the reliability of the factual article lower than participants in the control condition. Participants in the passive inoculation training did not rate the reliability and persuasiveness of a misinformation and factual article significantly differently to those in the control condition. When factors such as ideological worldview and climate change beliefs were controlled for however, the inoculation interventions had no significant effect on ratings of reliability and persuasiveness for a misinformation or factual article.

Conclusion: Inoculation seems to be a promising method of preventing the acceptance of misinformation on climate science. However, this analysis highlights that more investigation is required in order to determine the most effective inoculation training design.

Item ID: 76676
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1742-9536
Keywords: Active inoculation; climate change; critical thinking; inoculation theory; misinformation; resistance
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2022 02:48
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520599 Social and personality psychology not elsewhere classified @ 40%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520399 Clinical and health psychology not elsewhere classified @ 40%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5299 Other psychology > 529999 Other psychology not elsewhere classified @ 20%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1901 Adaptation to climate change > 190103 Social impacts of climate change and variability @ 50%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1901 Adaptation to climate change > 190199 Adaptation to climate change not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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