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Fake news in health: the validation of a neural network model for detection of disinformation in Pediatric Dentistry through psychophysiological reactions of internet users

Grant number: 19/27242-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2021
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Dentistry - Pediatric Dentistry
Principal Investigator:Thiago Cruvinel da Silva
Grantee:Matheus Lotto de Almeida Souza
Host Institution: Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru (FOB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Bauru , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):21/10732-5 - An artificial intelligence approach to automated detection of fluoride-related misinformation on social media, BE.EP.DR


The diffusion of information and communication technologies stimulate the production of contents based on personal opinions, contributing to the electronic dissemination of fake news via social media. In this sense, the consumption of disinformation directly influences the onset of beliefs that impact on people's health behaviors negatively. Hence, the development of tools for aiding Internet users to obtain and use health information properly is desirable. This study aims to develop and validate a machine learning model to detect the consumption of children's oral health-related disinformation remotely, based on psychophysiological reactions of mothers. The methods will be conducted in four distinct steps: 1) the determination of the interests of Google users in children's oral health-related disinformation, employing Google Trends; 2) the detection of children's oral health-related disinformation posted by Twitter users; 3) the assessment of differences of patterns in psychophysiological reactions of mothers exposed or not to disinformation, conducting a double-blind, cross-sectional and parallel randomized controlled trial; and 4) the training and evaluation of artificial neural networks to measure fake news-related psychophysiological outcomes, based on Cross Validation (CV) and Leave-One-Session-Out Cross-Validation (LOSOCV). Statistical analysis will be performed according to normality and homogeneity of data. P<0.05 will be considered for significant differences. (AU)

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