Examining unfounded beliefs about controversial social issues

VEGA 2/0053/21

Duration of the project:
2021 – 2024

Principal investigator:
Mgr. Jakub Šrol, PhD.

List of scientific co-workers:
PhDr. Eva Ballová Mikušková, PhD.
doc. PaedDr. Vladimíra Čavojová, PhD.
PhDr. Ivan Brezina, PhD.
Mgr. Marcela Bobková, PhD.
Mgr. Jakub Lieskovský
Mgr. Ing. Peter Teličák
Mgr. Roman Burič
Mgr. Viktória Sunyík

The aim of the project is to examine factors that influence the spread of unfounded information regarding controversial topics. In the recent years, there was a lot of attention paid by media, society, and scientists to the rise of unfounded claims about various socially important issues – such as climate skepticism, conspiracy theories regarding the purposeful spread of viruses, or fake news that give rise to the fear of migrants. In our project, we integrate the most recent findings from several domains of research on unfounded beliefs, scientific reasoning, and cognitive biases with the aim of identifying the causes and consequences of the proliferation of such information in the society. Our research on this topic will include a focus on (1) potential recipients of unfounded information, (2) context and characteristics of the environment in which the spread of misinformation takes place, and (3) people who actively endorse unfounded beliefs and contribute to their proliferation.

Key words:
epistemically suspect beliefs; controversial social issues; scientific reasoning; climate skepticism; bullshit; worldview