Benjamin Simmonds

Benjamin Simmonds

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

School of Psychology

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

I am a PhD Candidate in the School of Psychology.

My research concerns the spread of health-related misinformation online, and the role that experts can play in mitigating its impact by swaying public beliefs and sharing behaviour.

Misinformation represents a massive threat to the ability of health experts to convey important information to the public, especially during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to mitigate the spread of misinformation, it is important to understand the influence of experts amongst online discourse, and the steps that can be taken to maximise their persuasiveness.

My PhD aims to explore this area of research by investigating the possible interactions between expertise and other relevant cues decision-makers use to formulate their beliefs about health claims. This is conducted with the broader aim of equipping health experts with the tools necessary to counter online misinformation and improve the decision-making capabilities of the general public.

I am working under the supervision of Dr. Rachel Stephens and Dr. Keith Ransom.

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