Virtual Library

Our virtual library is an online repository of all of the reports, papers, and briefings that IST has produced, as well as works that have influenced our thinking.

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Reports

Unlocking U.S. Technological Competitiveness: Proposing Solutions to Public-Private Misalignments

Ben Purser, Pavneet Singh

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Articles

The Phone-a-Friend Option: Use Cases for a U.S.-U.K.-French Crisis Communication Channel

Daniil Zhukov

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Articles

China: Nuclear Crisis Communications and Risk Reduction

Dr. Tong Zhao

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Articles

Use-Cases of Resilient Nuclear Crisis Communications: A View from Russia

Dmitry Stefanovich

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Articles

Pakistan: Mitigating Nuclear Risks Through Crisis Communications

Dr. Rabia Akhtar

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Articles

Resilient Nuclear Crisis Communications: India’s Experience

Dr. Manpreet Sethi

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Reports

A Lifecycle Approach to AI Risk Reduction: Tackling the Risk of Malicious Use Amid Implications of Openness

Louie Kangeter

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We also welcome additional suggestions from readers, and will consider adding further resources as so much of our work has come through crowd-sourced collaboration already. If, for any chance you are an author whose work is listed here and you do not wish it to be listed in our repository, please, let us know.

SUBMIT CONTENT

Shortcutting Critical Thinking

Leah Walker and Zoë Brammer

SUMMARY

What effects do digital technologies have on critical thinking? The DCDI coalition and IST researchers came to five major conclusions:

  1. The scale, accuracy, and speed of digital technologies make them particularly effective at activating the very emotions that influence and undermine critical thinking. Not only do digital technologies have the ability to inflame those emotions, but they often are designed to do so, as those very emotions drive engagement, use, and consumer spending.
  2. Digital technologies are affecting the cognitive processes that comprise critical thinking, including memory, attention, and reasoning.
  3. Digital technologies make it easier for people to confirm their existing beliefs, with little incentive to go through the often arduous processes of thinking critically. The most prolific online spaces are designed to validate beliefs, rather than challenge them. This constant reinforcement, in turn, makes people more confident in and vocal about their beliefs.
  4. Overconfidence in beliefs makes people more vulnerable to disinformation and less likely to take in contrary arguments. 
  1. Compounding the problem, there is little financial incentive for tech companies to design products that encourage people to think critically, especially if that involves helping people slow down by building friction into systems optimized for speed.
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