Depression, a breeding ground for misinformation?

They conclude that “individuals with moderate or severe depressive symptoms are more likely to endorse vaccine misinformation,” while quick to add that they do not claim to have identified a causal relationship.: The association is only part of a broader effort to understand the mechanisms by which it is accepted and dissemination of misinformation.

“We also observed that individuals who accepted false health information were less likely to be vaccinated” — their study included 15,000 adults, all in the United States. In fact, individuals identified as being depressed may also display a deficiency in [de] Optimistic beliefs, which can lead them to underestimate the benefits of vaccination,” wrote 11 researchers from 7 US institutions. their research He was released on January 24.

We must remember that This is the interest of doctors and psychologists It comes from the fact that two years of the pandemic have been, for obvious reasons, fertile ground for manifestations of anxiety, stress and depression: So there is a need To determine the effects it has had on all aspects of daily life. Among all these aspects of daily life, the consumption of misinformation has the advantage of leaving measurable traces on social networks.

If a cause-and-effect relationship can be established, “this may suggest strategies to reduce the consequences of depression.” This could theoretically be achieved by reducing the amount of misinformation reaching these people, but “at the same time, it may be possible to develop interventions targeting negative biases that would reduce demand.”

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