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Hugo Mercier @ Online Hot Politics Lab

October 8, 2021 @ 3:00 pm 4:00 pm

In this session of the Online Hot Politics Lab, Hugo Mercier (CNRSA) will give a talk titled “Not born Yesterday: Why humans are less gullible than we think”.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A, and everbody is welcome to join via Zoom: https://uva-live.zoom.us/j/96492065253  at 3pm (CET).

Abstract: It is often thought that humans are gullible, easily manipulated by demagogues, advertisers, and politicians. I will argue that the opposite is true: humans are equipped with a set of psychological mechanisms that allow them to properly evaluate communicated information, and to reject information that is false or harmful. I will rely on experimental psychology data, as well as studies showing the failures of mass persuasion, from Nazi propaganda to American presidential campaigns. I will also offer explanations for the success of some misconceptions—from pizzagate to flat earth—that are not based on credulity.