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The Social Context of Influence & Persuasion

I study how social influence, group dynamics and social interaction shapes and impacts beliefs, behaviours, and judgements of information

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Social influence is a part of everyday human life – we make attempts to influence the judgements, beliefs, and opinions of others, we are influenced ourselves and we actively resist influence. In today’s complex information ecosystem where social information is ubiquitous, our judgements and perceptions of information and any influence attempt takes place within a social context. But how does the social nature of information consumption interact with the more cognitive process of judgement formation? ​In my work I use a range of methods (including experiments, interaction studies and behavioural games) to examine the socio-cognitive mechanisms of trying to influence, being influenced and resisting influence, with a current focus on misinformation. I integrate work from the fields of persuasion, social influence, social identity and more recently, moral cognition. I am particularly interested in studying these influence processes within real social contexts; broadening the scope of current social psychological methods.

Themes

Brainstorming

Being Influenced

We consume information on a daily basis. But how does the cognitive process of judgement formation interact with social influence processes? For example, how does exposure to other people's judgements, our internalised social identities and our direct interaction with other people influence our judgements of information? 

Representative Publications

Traberg, C.S. (2022) Misinformation: broaden definition to curb its societal influence. Nature, 606 (653). 

Traberg, C S. and van der Linden, S. (2022). Birds of a feather are persuaded together: Perceived source credibility mediates the effect of political bias on misinformation susceptibility. Personality and Individual Differences, 185, 111269. 

Working Papers

Traberg, C.S, Harjani T., Roozenbeek J. & van der Linden, S. The socio-cognitive factors that underpin misinformation susceptibility. (Manuscript in Prep)

 

Facciani, M., C. S. Traberg. Personal Network Composition and Cognitive Reflection Predict Susceptibility to Different Types of Misinformation. (Manuscript in Prep)

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Resisting Influence

Research shows we can psychologically 'inoculate' individuals against persuasive attacks. I study how resistance to persuasion can be induced in the real social world. E.g. can we inoculate individuals against misinformation from highly influential groups?

 
 
Representative Publications

Traberg, C.S., Harjani, T., Basol, M., Biddlestone, M., Maertens, R., Roozenbeek, J., van der Linden, S. (2023). Prebunking against misinformation in the modern digital age. In: Purnat, T.D., Nguyen, T., Briand, S (eds) Managing Infodemics in the21st Century. Springer, Cham.

Traberg, C. S., Roozenbeek, J. & van der Linden, S. (2022). Psychological Inoculation against Misinformation: Current Evidence and Future Directions. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 700, 136-151. 

Roozenbeek, J., Traberg, C.S. & van der Linden, S. (2022). Technique-Based Inoculation Against Real-World Misinformation. Royal Society Open Science, 9 (5), 211719.​

Rathje, Steve., Roozenbeek, J., Traberg. C. S., Van Bavel, J. J. & van der Linden, S. (2022) Letter to the Editors of Psychological Science: Meta-Analysis Reveals that Accuracy Nudges Have Little to No Effect for US Conservatives: Regarding Pennycook et. al (2020). Psychological Science. 

van der Linden, S., Roozenbeek, J., Maertens, R., Basol, M., Kácha, O., Rathje, S., & Traberg, C. (2021). How Can Psychological Science Help Counter the Spread of Fake News? The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 24, E25. doi:10.1017/SJP.2021.23 

Image by GR Stocks

Competing for Influence

In a world influence is power, one must be strategic in order to win influence over others. Given the social context of competing for influence, what strategies do people use when they attempt to win influence over others, and do they work?

Representative Publications

 

Hertz, U., Palminteri, S., Brunetti, S., Traberg, C. S., Frith, C. D., & Bahrami, B. (2017). Neural computations underpinning the strategic management of influence in advice giving. Nature Communications, 8(1). DOI:10.1038/s41467-017-02314-5 

Hertz, U., Tyropoulou E., Traberg C. S., Bahrami B. (2020). Self-competence increases the willingness to pay for social influence. Scientific Reports, 10. DOI: doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-74857-5

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