Rapp's Lab Combats Misinformation

Rapp's Lab Combats Misinformation

Headshot of David RappRapp, an eager student, took classes in psychology and sociology at Queens College while in high school.Northwestern University’s David Rapp and his students hold down an especially lively corner of psychology, one that requires them to mix it up with scholars, scientists, and journalists on a regular basis, Delia O’Hara wrote in a story for the American Psychological Association.

Rapp, the Walter Dill Scott Professor of Learning Sciences at SESP and a professor of psychology, and head of the Reading Comprehension Lab, is a pioneering researcher in the study of misinformation.

An avid reader, Rapp found the field by following an early interest in how people make sense of what they read, see, and hear in conversation. Along the way, he says, he noticed that some of the information people take in is not accurate.

“I thought that might be an interesting place to start, to look at how people wrestle with information and how they try to decide whether they believe something,” he says.

Rapp’s lab focuses on memory and language to track what happens during comprehension experiences, and on how to help people interact more successfully with new information. The team works with high school students who struggle to read; helps create health information for older adults with low literacy; and assesses whether teaching tools convey concepts as intended.

However, the urgency around getting a handle on misinformation has definitely pushed that segment of his work to the fore. Most of the lab’s research over the past decade has dealt with how people interact with, and are influenced by, misinformation.

Read the entire piece, David Rapp explores how to best combat misinformation, published on the American Psychological Association's website.

By Delia O'Hara
Last Modified: 6/5/23