Foolproof: Why We Fall for Misinformation and How to Build Immunity

By Sander van der Linden

Winner of British Psychological Society Best Book Prize (Popular Science) 2023

Nature’s Top 10 Books of 2023

A Financial Times Book of the Year 2023

A Waterstones Book of the Year for Politics 2023

Fake news. Alternative facts. Conspiracy theories. Misinformation is one of the defining problems of our age, and despite what we may think, we are all susceptible. So how and why does misinformation spread? And, more importantly, what can we do about it? Sander van der Linden, a Cambridge University professor and leading expert, takes us through the psychology of conspiratorial thinking and equips us with the tools needed to help stop the spread of misinformation once and for all.

Format: Paperback
Release Date: 15 Feb 2024
Pages: 336
ISBN: 978-0-00-846675-6
Sander van der Linden is The Professor of Social Psychology in Society and Director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge. He is often dubbed Cambridge’s ‘defence against the dark arts teacher’ and his pioneering research on fake news, misinformation, science denial, and the psychology of influence and persuasion is world-renowned and has received many awards. Prior to Cambridge, he was based at Yale University and Princeton University. He earned his PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and currently resides in Cambridge, UK.

'Authoritative' Financial Times -

'Encouraging' The Times -

”'A fascinating case for counteracting the misinformation virus through psychological inoculation” - Observer

”'Foolproof proves an overview that is authoritative, comprehensive and chatty. You won’t find a better survey of what is now a vast interdisciplinary landscape and that alone is a great service.” - Tim Harford, FT

”'An insightful and forensic examination of why our brains entertain disinformation - and the remedies that can protect us all from its real-world harm. For everyone who messages me asking how they can speak to someone who has fallen victim to online conspiracies - this is the book for you!” - Marianna Spring

”'Powerfully analyses why everyone is susceptible, how falsehoods spread, and how to 'prebunk' misinformation and 'inoculate' ourselves and others against it” - Nature

”'A fascinating, in-depth investigation into the complex landscape of misinformation from someone who has spent his career trying to combat fake news. You will never look at your social media feeds in the same way again” - Angela Saini, author of Inferior and Superior

”'a must-read for those of us interested in resisting the spread of disinformation” - Psychology Today

”'This brilliant book vividly illuminates the challenges of countering misinformation, showing how human psychology can make us vulnerable to manipulation and conspiracy theories. Van der Linden’s analysis would be utterly depressing, were he not to provide a set of powerful evidence-based 'antigens' designed to protect us from false claims. They have never been more needed” - Professor David Spiegelhalter

”'Sander van der Linden is one of the world’s leading experts on combating misinformation, and Foolproof is the ultimate handbook for navigating - and fighting back against - the tsunami that threatens to drown us in bullshit” - Jay Van Bavel, author of The Power of Us