Work in Progress

Work in Progress

Some academic projects that I’m working on:

Nudging News Consumption: Evidence from a Survey Experiment. With Richard Fletcher. Working paper.

  • The consumption of false or misleading news and information represents a key challenge for policy makers. The need for consuming and disseminating trustworthy news has become more apparent with the coronavirus pandemic. In this study, we conduct a randomized, online survey experiment in the UK (N=3,061) to test whether social norm-based nudges can be used to influence individuals’ choice of news about the coronavirus pandemic. Our analysis shows that using a ‘trust nudge’ did not significantly reduce the likelihood of selecting a news article containing false information about the origins of coronavirus. However, it slightly increased the selection of a news article from highly trusted news sources like the BBC. 

WhatsApp Use and Exposure to Misinformation: A Cross-Country Analysis. With Richard Fletcher. Under review

  • Mobile instant messaging (MIM) applications, such as WhatsApp, are widely used across the world. Although there are strong concerns about WhatsApp being used to spread misinformation in certain contexts, we currently know little about how the role of WhatsApp varies across countries. We use online survey data from the 2018 Reuters Institute Digital News Report to explore how WhatsApp use is associated with self-reported exposure to three types of misinformation (made-up news, biased news, and poor journalism) across 37 countries. We find that WhatsApp users are significantly more likely to think they have seen biased news or poor journalism, but in contrast to other social networks, only WhatsApp users in countries with lower levels of freedom of expression are significantly more likely to think they have seen news that is completely made-up. The findings highlight that WhatsApp is used differently in different countries, with possible consequences for misinformation exposure.

Echo-Chambers: The Sharing of False Information. Working Paper.

  • Misinformation on social media sites has become a significant concern for democratic governance. As more people access the news via social media sites, it is vital to explore the psychological motivations behind sharing false information on social media. In this study, I test the effect of being in a likeminded/oppositional social media environment on the actual sharing of information from misleading news articles in a lab experiment conducted in the UK. I find that being informed about the attitudes of the other participant in a chat group decreases the sharing of information in a real chat environment. This effect is largely driven by the cross-cutting chat groups, where participants with oppositional attitudes are assigned to the same chat environment.

The Effect of VAAs on Voter Behavior: A National Field Experiment. With Ali Çarkoğlu and Susan Banducci. Working Paper.

  • Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) are online, nonpartisan advice tools designed to inform voters. In this study, we analyze a randomized field experiment testing the effect of a VAA intervention on voter knowledge and voting intentions using a nationally representative sample in Turkey. Our preliminary findings demonstrate that VAAs may affect 1) how informed citizens feel about electoral candidates and 2) the party/candidate for which citizens would like to vote. We also find that VAA interventions have short-term effects on feeling informed.