In fall 2021, we will start the project Emotional Misinformation – The Interplay of Emotion and Misinformation Spreading on Social Media (EMOMIS) together with David Garcia (TU Graz, Complexity Science Hub) and in cooperation with Annie Waldherr (University of Vienna).

About the project

The spreading of misinformation via social media contributes to a global threat to trust in science and democratic institutions, with consequences for public health and societal conflicts. Emotions influence how we process information, suggesting a link between certain emotional states and misinformation spreading – especially in times of high uncertainty. The project aims at understanding how emotions influence the tendency to believe and share inaccurate content, and to test intervention strategies to mitigate emotional misinformation spreading. Using digital data traces, the research team will analyze patterns of emotional misinformation spreading on social media and use experimental studies testing the potential of individual emotion regulation interventions to reduce misinformation sharing. Finally, we will integrate results from social media analysis and experimental studies in an agent-based model to identify the most promising interventions to reduce misinformation spreading in social networks, and to simulate how algorithmic filters for emotional information affect the spreading of misinformation.

This project is funded by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF) for a period of three years and will start in November 2021.