【令和3年度 一般公募プロジェクト】The cognitive and behavioral consequences of disinformation
研究課題 The cognitive and behavioral consequences of disinformation
研究代表者 Strohminger Nina Suzanne Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania Assistant Professor
本センター担当教員 内田由紀子 京都大学こころの未来研究センター 教授
阿部修士 京都大学こころの未来研究センター 准教授
Hannah Arendt wrote that totalitarian leaders control citizens by creating an incomprehensible informational landscape where “everything was possible and nothing was true.” This project investigates the cognitive and behavioral consequences of exposure to disinformation, including endorsement of relativism, conspiracy theories, and authoritarianism.
The purpose of this research is to examine an underappreciated consequence of propaganda: how does exposure to disinformation impact well-being, broadly construed? I am interested in not only traditional measures of well-being (such as mood and life satisfaction) but also healthy patterns of thought, and functional social relations.
The insidious impact of propaganda likely goes beyond belief in the falsehoods themselves. When the epistemic norms of society disintegrate, this may lead to a sense of alienation from the community (what Emile Durkheim termed anomie). In a similar vein, Arendt theorized that disinformation breeds both cynicism and guillibility, thereby serving as a tool of social control. Accordingly, I expect to find that when people are exposed to disinformation, this breeds a disorientation that disrupts ordinary reasoning processing, and a sense of security and predictability in the world. This may increase the appeal of authoritarianism, conspiracy theories, and scientific and moral relativism.