From Vulnerability to Vigilance: Cultivating Psychological Resilience Against Misinformation and Conspiracy Beliefs

special issue on AI and social disparity

Edited by John F. Dovidio (Yale University) & Jonas R. Kunst (University of Oslo)

(Go directly to abstract submission form)

In our globally interconnected era, misinformation and conspiracy theories have become an omnipresent force, with profound societal ramifications. Their adverse effects ripple through communities, influencing decision-making, behaviors, and shaping the contours of public discourse – often in ways that create or exacerbate social and political polarization. The societal importance of misinformation and conspiracy theories cannot be overstated, given their capacity to skew perceptions, incite divisive sentiments, and challenge the very fabric of informed democracies.

While a burgeoning body of psychological research has adeptly illuminated the myriad factors heightening susceptibility to misinformation and conspiracy theories, there remains a crucial knowledge gap: understanding how to foster resilience against this pervasive tide. As the quest for solutions intensifies, so have controversies and debates surrounding the efficacy of current intervention strategies. These discussions underscore the importance of advancing our collective knowledge and refining our methodologies.

From Vulnerability to Vigilance” seeks to bridge this gap, providing fresh, insightful empirical and theoretical perspectives into the cultivation of resilience against misinformation and conspiracy theories. This special issue is committed to a multi-faceted exploration, including individual-level processes, group dynamics, contextual influences (including the parameters of social media platforms or other relevant areas), and broader social and political forces.

We venture beyond the mere identification of vulnerabilities and delve into actionable strategies, informed interventions, and innovative approaches to fortify the mind against misinformation and conspiracy theories. Contributions to this special issue can adopt a range of perspectives on the topic, including focusing on basic processes involving susceptibility or resistance to misinformation and conspiracy beliefs; relevant social, personality, or ideological factors; or intervention research that applies existing theory to counteract the impact of misinformation on individuals and groups. By embracing a comprehensive approach, this special issue aspires to be a beacon for scholars, policymakers, educators, and the general public in our collective endeavor to transition from vulnerability to vigilance.

Example of Relevant Topics

We cordially invite papers that address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Cognition and Social Cognition: Basic processes relevant to reducing susceptibility to misinformation and conspiracy theories.
  • Cognitive inoculation: Empirical approaches to immunizing the mind against misinformation and conspiracy theories.
  • Group dynamics: How collective processes shape resilience.
  • Social and political divides: How to overcome intergroup suspicions to produce resistance to misinformation and conspiracy theories.
  • Digital literacy and critical thinking: Twin pillars of resistance against deceptive narratives?
  • Prebunking: Proactive approaches to disarming misinformation before it takes hold.
  • Neurological underpinnings: Brain responses to interventions fostering resilience.
  • The role of emotions: Emotional intelligence as a buffer against the appeal of misinformation and conspiracy theories.
  • Contextual drivers: How societal, political, and cultural contexts influence the resilience of groups and individuals.
  • Educational strategies: Pedagogical methods for enhancing critical analysis in the age of information overload.
  • Systemic social media interventions.

We are inviting original research articles, reviews, and perspectives that delve into these and other pertinent topics. All submissions will undergo a rigorous and fair, transparent and double-blind peer-review process, where reviewers are compensated financially for their work.


Interested authors are invited to submit a preliminary title, author list, and an abstract of up to 200 words via the form below. The deadline for abstract submission is December 31, 2023 (note that you can submit earlier as we consider abstracts on a rolling basis).

Selected authors will be invited to submit a full paper for consideration in, with the final deadline being April 30, 2024. Accepted papers will be published online on a rolling basis.

This special issue offers an exceptional opportunity to contribute to an increasingly significant field of study. Your insights will help unravel the complexities of building resilience against misinformation and conspiracy theories, guiding more informed strategies and interventions in societal discourse and education. We look forward to your contributions.

Submission Instructions

To submit your abstract, please fill out the form below.

We look forward to your submissions and collaborating with you to publish groundbreaking perspectives in this emerging field of broad importance. In case of questions, do not hesitate to contact us at

Abstract Submission