Day 18

This is a 2-parter, because it’s a complicated concept. The upside is that today and tomorrow’s action is to contemplate this idea. Later, we’ll talk about ways to implement it.

The complicated concept is Innoculation Theory.

During the election, did you wonder why people believed almost anything that came out of the GOP candidate’s mouth? Did you try to talk to Uncle Morty about why he was completely deluded – and fail to make a dent?

One thing we must do to win the midterms is to bring the irrational back into the realm of reason.

That’s where Innoculation Theory comes in. It’s a psychological theory that by “innoculating” with truth, you can fight the disease of false information.

Just as innoculations tend to use a bit of the disease they are meant to cure, innoculation theory suggests using a little misinformation.

This is from “Psychological ‘vaccine’ could help immunize public against ‘fake news’ on climate change” on the Phys.org website:

A new study compared reactions to a well-known climate change fact with those to a popular misinformation campaign. When presented consecutively, the false material completely cancelled out the accurate statement in people’s minds – opinions ended up back where they started.

Researchers then added a small dose of misinformation to delivery of the climate change fact, by briefly introducing people to distortion tactics used by certain groups. This “inoculation” helped shift and hold opinions closer to the truth – despite the follow-up exposure to ‘fake news’.

More about this on Day 19.