A Pill for Fake News? Initial Studies on Pharmacological Modulation of Susceptibility to (Mis)information (78980)

Session Information: Psychology, Mental Health & Physical Well-Being
Session Chair: Predrag Teovanovic

Thursday, 28 March 2024 12:00
Session: Session 2
Room: Room 609
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

In my talk, I will discuss two experiments from our lab aimed at evaluating the effects of pharmacological agents on information sensitivity.
These studies involved non-clinical participant samples recruited online through Prolific Academic. In the first study (N=1162, 819 males, 328 females, 15 non-binary, avg. age 36.5), half of the participants reported taking sertraline (Zoloft), while the other half did not take any psychiatric medication. We subdivided the sertraline users based on their daily dosage into 4 groups (50, 100, 150, and 200mg/kg). In the second study (N=1583 728 males, 850 females, 5 non-binary, avg. age 42.1), we selected participants according to their tobacco usage (cigarette smoking). All participants completed a scale measuring susceptibility to misinformation, where they assessed the accuracy of true and fake news. We compared results between the sertraline and non-sertraline groups and among tobacco usage groups controlling for education level.
Results showed no significant differences in median veracity ratings between the sertraline and control groups. However, those on a 150 mg/day dose of sertraline had significantly higher engagement with both fake and true news. Smoking correlated with a decreased ability to recognize fake news and a reduced capacity to discern truthfulness, with no observed effect on the recognition of true news.
In conclusion, this research represents a pioneering effort to explore the potential for pharmacological modulation of vulnerability to misinformation. Ongoing longitudinal studies are needed to clarify the specific and direct causal relationships involved.
Acknowledgments: Supported by the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021, under Project No. 2019/35/J/HS6/03498.

Rafal Rygula, Maj Institute of Pharmacology Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

About the Presenter(s)
Professor Rafal Rygula is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at Maj Institute of Pharmacology Polish Academy of Sciences in Poland

See this presentation on the full scheduleThursday Schedule

Conference Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Presentation

Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00