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Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab

Department of Psychology

Melisa was a Gates Scholar and PhD Candidate in Psychology. At the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab, her research focused on attitudes, persuasion, and resistance against misinformation through inoculation theory. Throughout her studies, she initiated ways to contribute to societally contested issues, such as immigration and vaccinations, through her work.  She is a Co-Founder of CUBIT, an inter-disciplinary initiative to leverage behavioural insights to tackle pressing societal challenges. Moreover, she won the WhatsApp Research Grant for Misinformation to develop interventions against the spread of harmful misinformation on WhatsApp in India, Brazil, and the UK. Similarily, in collaboration with the UK Cabinet Office (and supported by UNESCO, UN, and WHO), Melisa co-developed Go Viral!, a gamified intervention to combat the threat posed by COVID-19 misinformation. Melisa collaborated with the Stanford Health Communication Initiative and Duke University's efforts to fight vaccine hesitancy. She also enjoys public engagement (e.g., BBC World) and continues to advise governmental institutions (e.g. EU Commission, NATO) on leveraging evidence-based psychological insights in policy-making.

Persuasion & Social Influence
Vaccine Hesitancy


Key publications: 

Compton, J., van der Linden, S., Cook, J., & Basol, M. (2021). Inoculation theory in the post-truth era: Extant findings and new frontiers for contested science, misinformation, and conspiracy theories. Social and Personality Psychology Compass.

Basol, M., Roozenbeek, J., Berriche, M., Uenal, F., McClanahan, W.P., & van der Linden, S. (2021). Towards psychological herd immunity: Cross-cultural evidence for two prebunking interventions against COVID-19 misinformation. Big Data & Society.

van der Linden, S., Roozenbeek, J., Maertens, R., Basol, M., Kacha, O., Rathje, S., Steenbuch Traberg, C. (2021). How can psychological science help counter the spread of fake news? Spanish Journal of Psychology.

Maertens, R., Roozenbeek, J., Basol, M., & van der Linden, S. (2020). Long-term effectiveness of inoculation against misinformation: Three longitudinal experimentsJournal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

Basol, M., Roozenbeek, J., & van der Linden, S. (2020). Good news about Bad News: Gamified inoculation boosts confidence and cognitive immunity against fake newsJournal of Cognition 3(1), 1-9.

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 
  • PBS3: Social and Developmental Psychology
  • PBS5: Research Dissertation
  • PBS7: Influence and Persuasion in the Digital Age
Alumna (PhD '2022)