Technology and Democracy
Understanding the influence of online technologies on political behaviour and decision-making
Social media, a threat to democracy?
Lewandowsky, S., Smillie, L., Garcia, D., Hertwig, R., Weatherall, J., Egidy, S., Robertson, R.E., O’connor, C., Kozyreva, A., Lorenz-Spreen, P., Blaschke, Y. & Leiser, M. (2020). Technology and Democracy: Understanding the influence of online technologies on political behaviour and decision-making. Publications Office of the European Union. doi:10.2760/709177
An international team of experts – including researchers from the Center for Adaptive Rationality – has investigated the influence of social media on our political behavior. In the report “Technology and Democracy: Understanding the influence of online technologies on political behaviour and decision-making,” published by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, the research team identifies challenges that arise when people interact politically on online platforms like Facebook, Youtube or Twitter that are not subject to much public oversight or democratic governance. The results should help citizens, civil society and policymakers to make sense of the impact the online world is having on our political decisions, and identify actions to safeguard a participatory, democratic European future.
This report is the second output from the JRC’s Enlightenment 2.0 multi-annual research programme. Advances in behavioral, decision and social sciences show that we are not purely rational beings: Enlightenment 2.0 seeks to understand the other drivers that influence political decision-making.