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Using Emotion and Humor to Combat Science Misinformation

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Humor might help combat scientific misinformation published online and on social media, according to "Emotion and Humor as Misinformation Antidotes," by Sara K. Yeo and Meaghan McKasy, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Recent research sheds light on how funny science and emotions can help explain and potentially overcome our inability or lack of motivation to recognize and challenge misinformation," the authors say. "Understanding how emotion and humor shape the public's understanding of science is one more resource that can aid communicators' efforts to combat misinformation."

Yeo, of the University of Utah, and McKasy, of Utah Valley University, say humor is also linked to people's evaluations of an information source. Yeo's recent research shows that scientists who use humor are perceived as more likable yet retain their credibility as an expert.

From University of Utah
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