Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is passionate about promoting truth-oriented behavior, rational thinking, and wise decision-making. He currently serves as the President of Intentional Insights, a nonprofit devoted to popularizing these topics. Its main current focus is the Pro-Truth Pledge, a project that aims to reverse the tide of lies and promote truth in public discourse through combining behavioral science and crowd-sourcing. He is also the CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts, Inc, a boutique consulting firm that uses behavioral analysis to improve organizational performance. He has a strong research background with over 15 years in academia, including 7 years as a professor at Ohio State University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He published dozens of peer-reviewed publications in academic publications such as Journal of Political and Social Psychology and Behavior and Social Issues, and currently serves on the Editorial Board of the ABAI journal Behavior and Social Issues. He writes frequently for a broad audience, most notably his national bestseller on truth-seeking The Truth Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide, and is currently writing From Post-Truth to Pro-Truth: Fighting Misinformation with Behavioral Science. Pieces by or about him regularly come out in prominent venues such as Time, Scientific American, Psychology Today, Newsweek, The Conversation, Inc. Magazine, CNBC, and elsewhere. He has appeared as a guest on network TV in the US, including CBS News and affiliates of Fox and ABC, and internationally, such as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and on US and international radio stations such as NPR, WBAI (New York City), KGO (San Francisco), 700WLW (Cincinnati), KRLD (Dallas), AM980 (Canada).
We have witnessed an alarming deterioration of truth in democracies around the globe, especially in the political arena. This presentation describes a behavioral analysis-based intervention, the Pro-Truth Pledge, which combines behavioral science research with crowd-sourcing to help address this problem. The pledge asks signers – private citizens and public figures – to commit to 12 behaviors that behavioral science has shown to be correlated with an orientation toward truthfulness. Pledge mechanisms have been shown in other contexts to lead private citizens to engage in more pro-social behavior. For public figures, the pledge offers specific incentives to behave in concordance with the pledge, with rewards in the form of positive reputation for honesty and truth-telling, and accountability through crowd-sourced evaluation and potential aversive consequences contingent upon deception. A study conducted on the pledge and published in the journal, Behavior and Social Issues, has demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing the sharing of misinformation on social media. These preliminary findings suggest that the pledge offers an important behavioral analysis-based intervention for addressing at least some of the problems caused by fake news and post-truth politics.