The Institute for Public Relations conducts an annual report focused on disinformation, or intentionally false or misleading information, in society. Published in November 2023, the 4th annual “Disinformation in Society” report conducted in partnership with Leger, surveyed more than 2,000 Americans about how they perceive intentionally misleading news or information. In December 2022, IPR and Leger released a study about the perception of disinformation in Canada.
Dr. Tina McCorkindale, President and CEO of IPR, and Dave Scholz, Chief Strategy Officer of Leger, hosted a webinar in January 2024 about the report’s findings and what organizations can do to help combat disinformation.
IPR’s work in disinformation is researched and published through its IPR Behavioral Insights Research Center.
Below are some resources that IPR has curated relating to disinformation[i]. If you have any resources to contribute, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Cognitive Biases Codex
A comprehensive visualization of biases, fallacies, errors, and effects that influence attitudes and behaviors
A Communicator’s Guide to COVID-19 Vaccination
IPR published this report to help organizations manage vaccinations in the workplace. This in-depth guide outlines research, theories, models, levers, and research-driven recommendations that influence attitudes and behaviors.
The Debunking Handbook 2020
This handbook created by 20 experts in a consensus process “distills the most important research findings and current advice about debunking and combatting misinformation.”
This website includes research and resources on inoculation theory, including videos and games, to combat disinformation.
Malign Foreign Interference and Information Influence on Video Game Platforms: Understanding
the Adversarial Playbook
On behalf of the Psychological Defence Agency and Lund University, researchers analyze how gaming platforms can be used by foreign powers for malign interference and information influence. The study takes a holistic approach outlining many of the problems, vulnerabilities, and challenges Western nations face ahead. The report also offers policy-relevant recommendations
Psychological Drivers of Misinformation and Its Resistance to Correction
In Nature, Dr. Ullrich Ecker and colleagues explored the effectiveness of both pre-emptive (‘prebunking’) and reactive (‘debunking’) interventions to reduce the effects of misinformation, and includes implications for consumers and practitioners in areas such as journalism, public health, policymaking and education.
Why People Disseminate Conspiracy Theories
Researchers conducted two-large scale national surveys in 56 countries to find out why people believed and disseminated conspiracy theories during COVID-19.
Your Brain and Misinformation: Why People Believe Lies and Conspiracy Theories
News Literacy Project
This webinar by the News Literacy Project and the American Psychological Association discusses why people believe disinformation, the factors that cause people to accept and spread falsehoods.
10 Ways to Identify Disinformation: A Guide and a Checklist
IPR created this research-based guide to help people think before they link.
10 Ways to Combat Misinformation: A Behavioral Science Approach
IPR published strategies for combatting disinformation using research, models, and theories from behavioral science.
Combatting Foreign Disinformation on Social Media
Drawing on a host of different primary and secondary sources and more than 150 original interviews from various sources, researchers examined how China, Russia, and North Korea have used disinformation on social media and what the United States and its allies and partners are doing in response. This free e-book by the Rand Corporation also provides recommendations for combatting disinformation.
Countering Misinformation with Psychological Science
This white paper by the Association for Psychological Science includes a “misinformation prevention kit” for policymakers, the scientific community, the media, and the public. In addition to a summary of salient information, the paper also presents science-based solutions to combat misinformation and recommends several action items.
Resist 2 Counter Disinformation Toolkit
This toolkit published by the UK government helps governments and communicators to reduce the impact of mis- and disinformation through strategic communications. RESIST stands for Recognise mis- and disinformation, Early warning, Situational insight, Impact analysis, Strategic communication, Tracking effectiveness.
Hosted by the News Literacy Project, this site features a web-based, curated collection of viral and significant examples of misinformation along with some resources. It includes five factors for evaluating information.
Stopping the Spread of Misinformation
In this webinar by the American Psychological Association, Dr. Sander van der Linden of Cambridge University, talks about why people are so vulnerable to misinformation, how much they are exposed to it, why misinformation spreads like a virus and how people can be “inoculated” against it.
Toolbox of Interventions Against Online Misinformation
Comprising interventions featured in 81 global scientific papers, this report provides a conceptual overview of the breadth of interventions and a summary of empirical evidence supporting the interventions. The report also features a toolbox of nine interventions.
Link to Toolbox.
Using Psychological Science to Understand and Fight Health Misinformation
Published by the American Psychological Association, disinformation experts compiled psychological science research to reach consensus about the psychological factors that influence the spread and susceptibility to misinformation. In addition, the report offers eight specific recommendations and intervention strategies to combat misinformation.
In Bad News, players take on the role of a fake news-monger. The goal of the game is to expose the tactics and manipulation techniques that are used to mislead people and build up a following.
Misinformation Susceptibility Test
University of Cambridge offers a 5-minute comprehensive test of misinformation susceptibility.
Spot The Troll
Clemson University gives a quiz for people to examine real social media content and decide whether it’s from a legitimate account or an internet troll.
Even though First Draft closed its operations in 2022, the site has thought leadership, training, research, tools and more on how to combat online mis/disinformation
Global Disinformation Index
GDI was established in 2018 as a not-for-profit entity built on the three pillars of neutrality, independence, and transparency. The majority of GDI’s work is about identifying sites that are supported by hostile state actors.
News Literacy Project
The News Literacy Project is a nonpartisan, educational nonprofit focused on creating a more news-literate America. The News Literacy Project offers free resources for the public, including an e-learning platform, an app, a new podcast, shareable tips, tools, quizzes and an annual news literacy event.
Based in Australia, ABC Education offers educational content and resources related to media literacy.
Center for Media Literacy
The Center for Media Literacy (CML) is an educational organization that provides leadership, public education, professional development, and evidence-based educational resources nationally and internationally. CML help citizens, especially younger ones, develop critical thinking and media production skills.
The Alliance for Decision Education is a nonprofit organization that advocates for decision education to be taught in schools across the country. They provide resources and other materials on their website.
Media Literacy Policy Report
Media Literacy Now publishes the Media Literacy Policy Report outlining the status of media literacy education laws for K-12 schools in the U.S. The purpose of the report is to guide and inspire, but also empower, legislators, educators, parents, and concerned individuals to advocate for policy that will bring more media literacy instruction to local schools.
Founded in 1975, Poynter focuses on topics exploring the interaction of journalism, technology, and the public interest. Their site has resources geared toward training, media literacy, and ethics.
Project Look Sharp
Project Look Sharp is a nonprofit, mission-driven outreach program of Ithaca College to help K-16 educators enhance students’ critical thinking, metacognition, and civic engagement through media literacy materials and professional development.
Thinking is Power
Thinking Is Power (TIP) is based on a general-education science course designed to teach students critical thinking, information literacy, and science literacy skills.
Braver Angels is a cross-partisan, volunteer-led movement to bridge the political divide through community gatherings, real debates, and grassroots leaders working together. They offer tools and resources on their website.
Starts With Us
Sponsored by the Lubetzky Family Foundation, Starts with Us is a collection of tools, programs, and resources that equip people to overcome polarization and solve problems in communities.
[i] Special thanks to Michael Cherenson, APR, EVP, SCG Advertising + Public Relations and Co-Academic Director, Communication Certificate Program, Rutgers, for sending a list of resources to IPR. We greatly appreciate your contribution!