The psychology of misinformation — the mental shortcuts, confusions, and illusions that encourage us to believe things that aren’t true — can tell us a lot about how to prevent its harmful effects. It’s what affects whether corrections work, what we should teach in media literacy courses, and why we’re vulnerable to misinformation in the first place. It’s also a fascinating insight into the human brain.
In the second part of this series on the psychology of misinformation, we cover the psychological concepts that are relevant to corrections, such as fact checks and debunks. One key theme that will resurface is the central problem of correction: Once we’re exposed to misinformation, it’s very hard to get it out of our heads.