Communicating ‘Truth:’ Consumption and transmission of polarized information amongst young people in a divided society
TWCF Number
Project Duration
November 1 / 2023
- October 31 / 2025
Core Funding Area
Big Questions
Amount Awarded

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Jocelyn Dautel
Institution The Queen’s University of Belfast

Young people trust information from their social ingroup, and are prone to biases in information consumption and transmission. Building on previously funded work, this project team led by Jocelyn Dautel at the Queen's University Belfast aims to investigate the transmission of polarized information, epistemic vigilance, and openness to belief revision among young people in the historically divided society of Northern Ireland. The team is using mixed methods to investigate individual-, interpersonal-, structural- and cultural-level influences on the transmission and consumption of polarized information.

They aim to:

  1. Highlight overarching systemic narratives influencing polarization and the development of epistemic thinking
  2. Test biases in the consumption and transmission of polarized information across young people depending on content and source of the information.
  3. Elucidate the role of culture and social context, as well as cognitive thought processes in information consumption, transmission, and belief revision processes.

The project encompasses analysis, synthesis, dissemination, and community engagement. Taken together, the project team believes these experiments can contribute to an interconnected and culturally-situated understanding of the consumption and transmission of polarized information. They also believe these experiments can lead to developing fostering epistemic vigilance within divided communities, and can inform interventions designed to foster knowledgeable and peaceful societies. Findings will be disseminated to both international research audiences and local stakeholders.

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Related Blog Post
Youth & Truth in Northern Ireland with Dr. Jocelyn Dautel (podcast)
Empowering youth to think critically about the information they receive and share may help reduce polarization in Northern Ireland's historically divided society.

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