Myrto is a social psychologist with a background in psycholinguistics. She uses experimental methods to study social cognition. She is particularly interested in how people process and validate information as well as in their (conspiracy) beliefs.
Dr Myrto Pantazi
Former Postdoctoral Researcher
My background is variable and interdisciplinary. I received a BA in Greek Philology from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and an MA in Linguistics from Utrecht University. In 2017 I received a Ph.D in Social Psychology from the Université libre de Bruxelles.
I held a joint postdoctoral researcher position at the Oxford Internet Institute and the Oxford-Emirates Data Science Lab.
My main research interests lie broadly in the area of Social Psychology and Social Cognition, and specifically focus on how available information affects people’s beliefs and behaviour.
My Ph.D thesis was an experimental assessment of the human tendency to believe information we encounter (the truth-bias), combining a social psychological and a linguistic approach. This video may give you an idea of the work I conducted in the context of my thesis and also allows you to test your own gullibility should you wish to try!
My current research focuses on the social, cognitive and evolutionary factors that affect the truth-bias, as well as on its socio-political consequences, especially in the digital era.
I’m also interested in misinformation transmission and Conspiracy Beliefs, both from a cognitive and from a socio-political perspective.
Before coming to Oxford, I was a research associate at the University of Cambridge, where I worked in a project investigating the effects of sustainability information on investor decision-making.
Social Psychology, Social Cognition, Truth-bias, Misinformation, Fake News, Epistemic Vigilance, Beliefs, Conspiracy Beliefs
Position held at the OII:
- Postdoctoral Researcher, May 2018 – 2020
Participants: Professor Helen Margetts, Dr Scott Hale, Dr Chico Camargo, Dr Myrto Pantazi, Professor Peter John
This project seeks to quantify trends and changes in the volatility of public opinion before and after widespread use of social media, and to study how social information can drive public opinion.
- (2015) "Behind the screen conspirators: paranoid social cognition in an online age" In: The psychology of conspiracy Bilewicz, M., Cichocka, A. and Soral, W. (eds.). Routledge. 162-182.
- (2020) Are Conspiracy Beliefs a threat to (all types of) Democracy?. International Society for Political Psychology Annual Meeting.
- (2021) "A global test of brief reappraisal interventions on emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic", Nature Human Behaviour.
- (2020) "Is justice blind or myopic? An examination of the effects of meta-cognitive myopia and truth bias on mock jurors and judges", Judgement and Decision Making. 15 (2) 214-229.
- (2019) "Metacognitive myopia in change detection: A collective approach to overcome a persistent anomaly.", Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 46 (4) 649-668.
- (2018) "Stigmatized beliefs: Conspiracy theories, anticipated negative evaluation of the self, and fear of social exclusion", European Journal of Social Psychology. 48 (7) 939-954.
- (2018) "“These are just Stories, Mulder”: Conspiracist Fiction Triggers Resistance to Narrative Persuasion", Frontiers in Psychology. 9.
- (2018) "The Power of the Truth Bias: False Information Affects Memory and Judgment Even in the Absence of Distraction", Social Cognition. 36 (2) 167-198.
- (2018) "Registered Replication Report: Dijkserhuis & van Knippenberg (1998)", Perspectives in Psychological Science. 13 (2) 268-294.
- A global test of message framing on behavioural intentions, policy support, information seeking, and experienced anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic..
- When they get high I get low: reduction of the truth-bias under high stakes situations.
- “Historia est Magistra Vitae”? The Impact of Historical Victimhood on Current Conspiracy Beliefs.
This option puts forward the experimental method as an essential element of social data science, which offers the potential to explain patterns or irregularities in human behaviour.
In the past five years my work has been financially supported by Belgian and European taxpayers, the Université Libre de Bruxelles, the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and the British Academy.