De Facto Reading Corner

Basic terminology on misinformation and disinformation – from cognitive science, psychology and linguistics to the public and social aspects of the phenomenon


1. knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance; news
2. knowledge gained through study, communication, research, instruction, etc.; factual data
Origin: 1350-1400; Middle English: instruction, teaching, a forming of the mind < Medieval Latin, Latin: idea, conception |

1. False information that is deliberately created or disseminated with the express purpose to cause harm. Producers of disinformation typically have political, financial, psychological, or social motivations.

2. False information intended to deceive or mislead
Collins English Dictionary |

Information that is false, but not intended to cause harm. For example, individuals who don’t know a piece of information is false may spread it on social media in an attempt to be helpful

Genuine information that is shared to cause harm. This includes private or revealing information that is spread to harm a person or reputation.

Dissemination of information—facts, arguments, rumours, half-truths, or lies—to influence public opinion.
Encyclopædia Britannica |

Any or all of the sciences, such as neurochemistry and experimental psychology, which deal with the structure or function of the nervous system and brain.

Neuroscience is the study of how the nervous system develops, its structure, and what it does. Neuroscientists focus on the brain and its impact on behavior and cognitive functions. Not only is neuroscience concerned with the normal functioning of the nervous system, but also what happens to the nervous system when people have neurological, psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Neuroscience is often referred to in the plural, as neurosciences.

Neuroscience has traditionally been classed as a subdivision of biology. These days, it is an interdisciplinary science which liaises closely with other disciplines, such as mathematics, linguistics, engineering, computer science, chemistry, philosophy, psychology, and medicine.
Georgetown University Medical Center, Department of Neuroscience |

Cognitive Neuroscience
The study of higher cognitive functions that exist in humans, and their underlying neural bases. Cognitive neuroscience draws from linguistics, neuroscience, psychology and cognitive science. Cognitive neuroscientists can take two broad directions; behavioral/experimental or computational/modeling, the aim being to understand the nature of cognition from a neural point of view.
Georgetown University Medical Center, Department of Neuroscience |

Cognitive science
The interdisciplinary scientific investigation of the mind and intelligence. It encompasses the ideas and methods of psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence (AI), neuroscience, anthropology and so on.

The states and processes involved in knowing, which in their completeness include perception and judgment. Cognition includes all conscious and unconscious processes by which knowledge is accumulated, such as perceiving, recognizing, conceiving, and reasoning.