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How to debunk misinformation? An experimental online study investigating text structures and headline formats

Universität Bayreuth

  • Disziplin: Sozial, Gesundheit, Psychologie
  • Forschungsmethode: Quantitativ
  • Forschungsdesign: Primärerhebung, Repräsentativ angelegte Befragung
  • Erhebungsstatus: Open-Access-Publikation, Erhebung abgeschlossen, Ergebnisse veröffentlicht, Daten zugänglich

Ziele der Studie

Misinformation is a crucial problem, particularly online, and the success of debunking messages has so far been limited. In this study, we experimentally test how debunking text structure (truth sandwich vs. bottom-heavy) and headline format (statement vs. questions) affect the belief in misinformation across topics of the safety of COVID vaccines and GMO foods.


A representative sample of 4904 participants will be recruited via the PsychLab platform. Experimental online study with a 2 structure (truth sandwich/ bottom-heavy text) x 2 headline (question/ statement) x 2 topic (genetically modified crop plants/ vaccination) between-subjects design. Primary outcome is the agreement with six statements containing misinformation, of which two were addressed by the experimental manipulation; secondary outcomes are the evaluation of the presented information and its perceived social impact.


The data is available.