Resisting disinformation through emotions

Education

In an ever-changing world driven by technological development, the internet, social media and artificial intelligence give us access to an overflow of information that, unfortunately, can lead to misinformation. At Smilemundo, we understand the importance of tackling this challenge from the root: understanding how our emotions and internal states are affected by interacting with content based on false information.

That is why, in collaboration with the School with Class Foundation (Poland), Demagog Association (Poland), Fakescape (Czech Republic) and Adfaber (Romania) we have developed the innovative Fake kNOw More curriculum. This curriculum is designed to unravel the psychological mechanisms that come into play when faced with misinformation, and how we can strengthen our inner resources to defend ourselves.

Aimed at children and youth aged 10-15, the project seeks to improve their self-awareness by helping them identify their resources and vulnerabilities when facing misinformation.

Through the analysis of 5 premises, participants will explore the impact of misinformation in their daily lives and learn effective strategies to react and protect themselves from it.

  • The heart, i.e. the way I feel,
  • The head, i.e. the way I think,
  • The eyes, i.e. the way I see the world,
  • The breath, i.e. the way I react,
  • The hands, i.e. the way I act.

Each section starts with a theoretical introduction to help educators or teachers to get the basic information about a certain field. Following our work with Kolb’s learning cycle, the theory is complemented with activities related to the subject of the chapter, allowing young people to acquire knowledge through experience.

 

Pilot test and reflections

Between April and May we did four pilot sessions to test the materials, two were in the Partial Hospitalisation ACT Unit of the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital, with a group of adolescents between 14 and 17 years old and the other two in the Patronat Domènech school for boys and girls aged 11 – 12 years old.

“Through experiential and dynamic work, we addressed the way in which we perceive others with stereotypes or without knowing much about them. The proposed exercises helped us to capture, almost in a theatrical way, some everyday situations in which we discover that we are immersed every day, and in which we often unconsciously project onto others certain attitudes or ways of being that are not real.” said the educator who conducted the sessions.

Finally, we closed both sessions by investigating what we have in common with those people we perceive as most different from ourselves, and we realized that even with people we initially had nothing in common with, we found (more easily than we expected) aspects in which we coincided.

 

The Octogram game

In addition to the activities proposed in each of the chapters of the curriculum, we developed the Octogram game. A fictitious game that aims to simulate social networks, their algorithms, filters and information bubbles. Through the fun that gamification offers, it allows us to introduce young people to the phenomena that are manifested and that they can encounter on social networks to help them deal with them in the future.

Find the Octogram publication and game at fakeknowmore.smilemundo.com and join us in building a world that is more informed and resistant to misinformation.