ABSTRACT

Psychology of (Dis)information: Case Studies and Implications   [open pdf - 4MB]

From the Abstract: "The absorption and spread of disinformation is a pervasive phenomenon across a wide variety of topics and media. Most disinformation research focuses on the source (who created it?) and the environment in which it exists (what platform/medium transmits the information?). Recognizing that disinformation primarily works in an individual person's mind, this report describes four normal, routine psychological mechanisms that are associated with the absorption and spread of disinformation. We then describe real-world case studies--focusing on activities linked to COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019], and to campaigns coordinated by US adversaries including Russia, China, and Iran--to illustrate the way these mechanisms can be manipulated to aid the spread disinformation. The report concludes with multi-pronged recommendations that DOD can use to address the vulnerabilities associated with these psychological mechanisms so as prevent the spread of disinformation and protect both US servicemembers and the country."

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Date:
2021-10
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Copyright:
2021 CNA. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
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CNA: https://www.cna.org/
Format:
pdf
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application/pdf
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