Your brain and misinformation: Why people believe lies and conspiracy theories


Thursday, January 26, 2023
2:00 PM ET

Join Peter Adams, NLP’s senior director of research and design, for a discussion that will explore how and why people fall for falsehoods.


Our brains do marvelous things, but they also make us vulnerable to falsehoods. Why? What leads people to fall for misinformation? And why do they share it with others? Is it all a battle between our emotions and our rational faculties? Between our ideological allies and adversaries? Or is there more to the story?

Join a panel of experts during the fourth annual National News Literacy Week to untangle the threads in our heads and hearts that can cause us to accept and spread falsehoods, even when we should know better.

Panelists include:

  • Peter Adams, senior vice president of research and design at the News Literacy Project
  • Dr. Sander van der Linden, professor of social psychology in society at the University of Cambridge, director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab and author of Foolproof: Why We Fall for Misinformation and How to Build Immunity

This live, virtual discussion is free and open to the public.

This event is presented in partnership with the American Psychological Association as part of National News Literacy Week.

National News Literacy Week, presented by the News Literacy Project in partnership with the E.W. Scripps Company, is Jan. 23-27, 2023. This annual event underscores the vital role of news literacy in a democracy and aims to inspire news consumers, educators and students to practice news literacy and to strengthen trust in news media by reinforcing the role of credible journalism.

Dr. Seema Yasmin was originally scheduled to participate but was unable to attend.

More Updates

NLP’s Veiga on CNN: How to detect AI-generated news stories

In a CNN interview, the News Literacy Project offered strategies for determining whether news coverage is AI-generated. Christina Veiga, NLP’s senior director of media relations, explained how to read laterally – leaving one online source to read what others have to say about a topic or issue – and how to conduct a reverse image…

NLP in the News