This summary is based on the original journal article in the Journal of Experimental Psychology

Rakoen Maertens and colleagues investigated the long-term effectiveness of inoculation as a means to build resistance against misinformation.

Three experiments were conducted with 151 participants in experiment one, 194 participants in experiment two, and 170 participants in experiment three. One group of participants was exposed to an inoculation intervention (they played the Bad News Game prior to rating credibility of news articles) and the other group was not (they played Tetris prior to rating credibility of news articles).

Key findings include:

  • Participants rated "fake news" as significantly less reliable after exposure to an inoculation intervention.
  • The positive effects of inoculation were maintained for three months in the first experiment, but in the second experiment, the effects of inoculation dissipated within two months without regular "boosting."
  • The inoculation effect and its decay were not influenced by item-specific memory effects.
  • This finding makes the case for providing "boosters" or learning mechanisms to combat misinformation.

Read more to learn about the long-term effectiveness of inoculation.