InTACT, a project inspired by De Facto. InTACT's concept includes a full training model, starting with a self-assessment test to determine individual susceptibility to conspiracy theory beliefs, a novel deconstruction approach where conspiracy theories will be "disassembled", just as engineers and hardware technicians disassemble a piece of equipment to show students what's inside and how it works. Well, we will do the same thing - we will disassemble a handful of conspiracy theories to show what they are made of, and we will demonstrate the cognitive mechanisms that are akin to the electric wiring in computers.
There are 4 main elements in our work structure that, when put together, constitute a full-scale training model:
- Relying on solid research and past experience, we use a methodology where we create a 3-component self-assessment test on conspiracy beliefs and susceptibility to conspiracy theories. The test combines well-known and validated means of testing with some new ideas of our own. This test will run online, and for the first few weeks, we will be collecting data and monitoring the test performance, standing by to adjust individual parameters if need be. After this trial period, benchmarks will be established on all 3 components for comparison with later data. Ultimately, the test should indicate the effectiveness of the deconstruction training model by using before/after analysis and by comparing data from the general population vs. data from the sample that will undergo the training.
- We are also developing a model that would exemplify the impact of conspiracy theories and beliefs on different social systems. We will also attempt to present methods of quantifying such impact.
- The key element of our work is the development of a deconstruction model for conspiracy theories, that will be accompanied by designing resources and carrying pilot trainings.
- As we validate our conceptual model at these pilot trainings, we will design an online course for teachers, trainers and the general public, where the deconstruction model will be used alongside helpful tips, engaging case studies, exercises and activities.