Project

It is not known to what extent mis-information (e.g., religious extremism) effects young peoplesǯ (aged 16-24) well-being (including psychophysiological responses) and to what extent information discernment (i.e., the ability to make complex judgments about information) is a protecting factor against ill-being.

People aged 16-24 are the most likely users of the Internet (ONS, 2015) and therefore are exposed to mis-information and as a result may develop ill-being, especially via social media use (Booker, 2016). This collaborative project brings together experts in information literacy, user experience, applied psychology and psychophysiological stress reactivity. The team believes that, information discernment moderates the relationship between mis-information and cardiovascular reactivity in stressful social situation(s).

This research has wide implications for policy makers, educationalists and governments, indicating for the first time that information literacy has a social and physical, as well as educational benefit and that it should be added to preventative measures against mis-information. Here, psychophysiological well-being is determined using challenge and threat cardiovascular reactivity, where challenge reactivity (driven by Sympathetic Adreno-Medullary activation) indicates an adaptive reaction to stress, and threat (driven by Pituitary Adreno-Cortical activation) indicates a maladaptive reaction to stress 2| Page(Blascovich & Mendes, 2000).

We will break new research ground and make a substantial contribution to the extant literature by exploring how mis-information about religious extremism may affect young peoplesǯ cardiovascular reactivity, and subsequent cognitive functioning. For the first time the extent to which information discernment moderates challenge and threat reactivity will also be investigated. There are two research questions: 1: To what extent does information discernment (an essential component of information literacy) moderate the effects of mis-information (stigmatized vs. non-stigmatized) on psychophysiological reactivity? 2: To what extent does psychophysiological reactivity influence performance andinterpersonal interaction in a collaborative pressurized attention task?

 

The stakeholders are; Young People (aged 16-24)This project will facilitate awareness of mis-information and the risks this poses to young people between the ages of 16 and 24 because they are the group most affected by these issues.

Information Professionals Information professionals have the grounding in information discernment and have the expertise to raise awareness and devise educational tools to support this group. The General Public This research will be of use to parents enabling them to recognize the effect of stigmatization and misinformation on family well-being. Educators (teachers and academics) This research can more broadly be used to educate the public about stigmatization and its ill effects.

This can be done at a government (local and national) level and by educators of young people. Policy Makers Policy makers can use the evidence generated to advise on the strategic direction for young peoplesǯ well-being in these different information environments. Health Professionals Health professionals will be interested in this research because this project explores whether misinformation links to cardiovascular responses, which could lead to some health care recommendations. Employers This research would be of interest to employers to increase awareness regarding the effects of stigmatization on well-being and inter-racial collaboration in the work place.