Mikayel Harutyunyan won the Josef Hlávka Award for 2022
Mikayel Harutyunyan, alumnus of both Bachelor's and Master's program in Economics and Finance, received the Josef Hlávka Award for 2022. The prize is intended for talented students in bachelor's, master's or doctoral studies (under 33 years of age) who have demonstrated exceptional skills and creative thinking in their field.
Mikayel impressed the jury with his highly original and interdisciplinary thesis entitled "Fighting Fake News with Accuracy: Dual Processing Perspective". In it, he asks whether and how society can face the phenomenon of fake news (i.e. intentionally distorted, or completely false news). He empirically investigated whether there are possibilities to weaken the effects of fake news and how to mitigate its spread on the Internet. For this purpose, he designed an online experiment with 520 participants from the USA, which was implemented on the Prolific platform.
The participants of the randomized experiment first filled out a short questionnaire regarding their socio-economic status or political preferences, and at the same time received several questions where they had to prove their critical thinking and basic logical reasoning ability. They were then presented with news headlines with photographs, with a warning label added below some of the news so that readers of the news should consider the veracity of the news before sharing it with other people. The participants were randomly divided into two groups, where one was exposed to the warning labels, while the other was not (the so-called treatment and control group). The obtained data were evaluated using regression analysis.
The thesis Advisor was Associate professor Julie Chytilová.
During his studies at IES, Mikayel Harutyunyan also participated in international projects focused on the social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The results were published in renowned journals (e.g. Nature Human Behavior, Nature Scientific Data, Affective Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).
Autor - Barbora Holková