The cognitive outcomes of misinformation: Misbeliefs and knowledge

Ran Wei*, Jing Guo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the cognitive dimension of harms associated with encountering misinformation about COVID-19 on two outcome variables (i.e., misbeliefs and knowledge about COVID-19) in Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Singapore. The level of misbelief (e.g., accepting misinformation as true) was found to be associated significantly with age, exposure to, sharing of, and elaboration of COVID-19 misinformation. Similarly, the amount of correct knowledge about the coronavirus was significantly related to key demographics, exposure to, sharing of, and elaboration of the misinformation and misbeliefs. These results indicate that exposure to and sharing of misinformation alter respondents’ beliefs and hinder their acquisition of knowledge about COVID-19. Cross-societal differences among the four cities showed that respondents in Taipei had the lowest level of misbeliefs and highest level of knowledge compared to respondents in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Singapore, underscoring the critical role of societal influences on cognitive capacities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMiscommunicating the COVID-19 Pandemic
Subtitle of host publicationAn Asia Perspective
EditorsRan Wei
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781003355984
ISBN (Print)9781032408880, 9781032410470
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Advances in Internationalizing Media Studies

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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