The news regarding climate change and its adverse impacts are the most common topic for every news portals, nowadays. But do you know, many of them are just fictitious versions of original news and represent counterfeit information and claims about climate change? The spread of such fake climate change claims and news are not only having the physiological effect on the readers’ mind but also misguiding them about the right actions against climate change. However, such situations are going to change soon, as a team of psychologists has developed a ‘Psychological Vaccine’, which can help people combating against the fake news regarding climate change.
‘Vaccine’, in medical theory is known as a biological grounding that delivers active immunity to a particular disease and helps the body to defend the disease-causing microorganism. Now a group of Psychologists, from the University of Cambridge, UK, Yale and George Mason, US, following this prototype, developed a psychological vaccine, which can be used to ‘vaccinate’ people from the sticky fake news and stories related to climate change. The prototype will also help people defending against the misinformation campaign, which involves the counterfeit stories related to the myths about climate change.
In their new study, published in the journal Global Challenges Researchers, the researchers suggested that the similar logic of Vaccine can be effective to deal with the ongoing misinformation campaign, across the world, concerning climate change and its impacts on general life and ecology. The fake news and misinformation are sticky and used to spread like virus among people, affecting them both mentally and hence they are needed to be distinguished from the genuine stores, said the lead author of the study, Dr Sander van der Linden, the lead author of the study and a social psychologist from the University of Cambridge and Director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab.
The clear-cut examples of fake stories and their impacts can be witnessed on the results of US election and Syria, said the lead researcher. The study involved 2000 people in the US revealed that fake news often leaves people with exactly on the same outlook as they have before reading the articles and stories.