About the Project

The project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), investigates the core research questions of the information design and persuasion theory.  The research addresses a spectrum of questions, among them, what the determinants of vulnerability of individuals to persuasion with manipulative information disclosure are; what information a persuader should provide to reach a large audience of diversified listeners; and how one can design persuasion frameworks for achieving socially important goals, such as protecting vulnerable consumers and tackling sensitive public health issues.

The potential applications for this project include:

  •  informed health decisions on obesity, smoking and medicines;
  •  educations campaigns for vaccinations, medical examinations, diet, exercise and drugs;
  •  regulation of the media to prevent rogue information broadcasting;
  •  informed voting through public encouragement to acquire authentic political information;
  •  consumer protection for buyers who have limited knowledge regarding product purchase;
  • regulation of information disclosure policies of financial institutions.

The project will investigate the potential applications from various perspectives, by modelling diversified listeners in their preferences and beliefs; informational advantages among persuaders and disadvantages amongst listeners; and imperfect knowledge and potential misunderstanding among listeners.  These theoretically challenging aspects are investigated to provide relevant guidance for policy makers, legislators, regulators, and human rights and consumer protection organisations.

The research team includes Prof Andy Zapechelnyuk (University of St Andrews, UK), Dr Hisayuki Yoshimoto (University of Glasgow, UK), and Dr Anton Kolotilin (University of New South Wales, Australia).

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK’s largest research funding organisation for economic and social issues.  The ESRC supports independent, high quality research that will have an impact on business, public sector and civil society.