Understanding the Infodemia Generated by the COVID-19 Crisis: an Integrated Approach to Combating Disinformation in Complex Environments

In the context of the current pandemic, information is overabundant, generating a complex environment in which consumers – as much as information producers and disseminators – are vulnerable to decisional biases and disinformation, defined as false information that does not engage malicious/strategic original intent (Wardle, 2019).

By considering cognitive, affective, and collective/social dimensions, this cross-sectoral research program (i.e, Humanities, Education Sciences, Science and Engineering, Nursing, Social Sciences), funded by the Vice Rectorate for Research, Creation and Innovation at Laval University, focuses on disinformation from information processing stemming from public health policies (e.g., information about the health of the population, the health care system, the health care system’s role in the health of the population, the health care system’s role in the health care system, etc.), adherence to preventive measures, vaccination policies, vaccine replacement therapies, etc.) and brought forward due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Objectives

Through an empirical approach that combines automated content analysis, personal construct analysis, human subject experimentation, computer simulation, and serious games:

  • Get a better understanding of disinformation in an infodemic context
  • Measure its impacts on decision making in order to
  • Propose solutions to foster the development of 21st-century skills (e.g., adaptability, complex thinking, critical thinking, creative problem identification and solving) empowering humans to better understand and manage disinformation from complex informational environments

Lead Researcher

Researchers and Collaborators

Fabio Armando Naranjo Salazar

Grant