Testing fact-based and logic-based corrections in response to polarizing misinformation about climate change

  • Cook, John (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Kim, Sojung (Partner Investigator (PI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

Past research has explored two main approaches to countering misinformation: fact-based or logic-based corrections. Fact-based corrections show how misinformation is false through factual explanations while logic-based corrections reveal the rhetorical techniques used to mislead. While both methods are effective against climate and health misinformation, the logic-based approach has unique benefits. Logic-based corrections work across topics, with one study finding that correction of a rhetorical technique used in tobacco misinformation neutralized the same technique in climate misinformation. This same study also found that the logic-based approach was depolarizing. The logic-based approach is effective regardless of whether it comes before or after the misinformation, while fact-based corrections can be rendered ineffective if the misinformation comes later. Our research will explore the following questions: first, what is the relative effectiveness of fact-based and logic-based corrections in correcting misperceptions, engaging readers, provoking information seeking, and improving related behavioral intent, particularly across the political spectrum against polarizing climate misinformation? Second, does a combined fact + logic approach convey benefits across outcomes? Third, which type of correction conveys longer lasting effects across outcomes? This research will yield valuable insights due to the dearth of research into logic-based corrections, despite the powerful benefits of this approach found in existing research. Deepening our theoretical understanding of the relative merits of both approaches will inform practical efforts of educators, scientists, and fact-checkers when countering misinformation.
Short titleCorrecting polarizing misinformation
Effective start/end date1/11/2130/04/22