Aims & Objectives

This project seeks to understand how mis-information regarding religious extremism influences psychophysiological reactivity and the subsequent interaction between participants and stigmatized (or un-stigmatized) confederates. Further, the link between mis-information and psychophysiological reactivity and this is moderated by information discernment will also be explored (Walton & Hepworth, 2013; Walton, 2013; 2015, Walton & Cleland 2014; 2016 in press). In this study, we are misinforming participants about religious extremism to stigmatize religious people.

We will use a stigmatized confederate (a perceived religious person) to act as a stressor to participants, who has been described to participants with negative stereotypical attributes (e.g., holds religious extremist viewpoints). We aim to examine how religious stigmatization (introduced via misinformation) influences challenge and threat psychophysiological reactivity and subsequent cognitive and interpersonal function, and to what extent this relationship is moderated by information discernment.


1. To determine whether information discernment (an essential component of information literacy) moderates the effects of mis-information (stigmatized vs. non-stigmatized) on psychophysiological reactivity.

2. To determine whether psychophysiological reactivity influences performance and interpersonal interaction in a collaborative pressurized attention task.