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Weekly News Digest

December 2, 2021 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

'Four Psychological Mechanisms That Make Us Fall for Disinformation' by Megan McBride

Megan McBride writes the following for CNA:

As humans evolved, we developed certain psychological mechanisms to deal with the information surrounding us. But in the 21st century media environment, where we are exposed to an exponentially growing quantity of messages and information, some of these time-tested tools make us dangerously vulnerable to disinformation. …

In a recent CNA study, we examined how, in this disorienting information environment, normal information-processing and social psychological mechanisms can be exploited by disinformation campaigns. Our report, The Psychology of (Dis)Information: A Primer on Key Psychological Mechanisms, identifies four key psychological mechanisms that make people vulnerable to persuasion. …

Despite their impact on the spread of disinformation, these mechanisms can be generally healthy and useful to us in our daily lives. They allow us to filter through the onslaught of information and images we encounter on a regular basis. They’re also the same mechanisms that advertisers have been using for years to get us to buy their cookie, cereal or newspaper. The current information environment, however, is far more complex than it was even 10 years ago, and the number of malicious actors who seek to exploit it has grown. These normal thought patterns now represent a vulnerability we must address to protect our communities and our nation.

For more information and a summary of each of the four mechanisms, read the article.

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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