Publications

2022
Devora Newman, Stephan Lewandowsky, and Ruth Mayo. 2022. “Believing in nothing and believing in everything: The underlying cognitive paradox of anti-COVID-19 vaccine attitudes.” Personality and Individual Differences, 189, Pp. 111522. Publisher's Version Abstract
A major reason why some people oppose the COVID-19 vaccine is the influence of misinformation. This study suggests that the cognitive paradox of simultaneously believing known facts less and new, “alternative facts” more is the outcome of a distrust mindset, characterized by spontaneous consideration of alternatives, including misinformation. We captured this paradox and its correlates in a scale that measures individuals' ability to distinguish between the truth value of well-established facts (“Earth rotates eastward around its own axis, completing a full rotation once in about 24 h”) and baseless “alternative facts” (“Earth can change its rotation direction and flip its axis, and we will never notice it”). Assuming that an anti-COVID-19 vaccine attitude arises from a chronically distrusting mindset, we sampled participants on Prolific who were pre-screened for their COVID-19 vaccine attitude based on earlier responses. We found that people who rejected COVID-19 vaccines believed well-established facts less, and “alternative facts” more, compared to supporters of the vaccine. Less discernment between truths and falsehoods was correlated with less intellectual humility, more distrust and greater reliance on one's intuition. This observed thought pattern offers insights into theoretical understanding of the antecedents of belief in “alternative facts” and conspiracy theories.
2020
Rebecca Weil, Yaacov Schul, and Ruth Mayo. 2020. “Correction of evident falsehood requires explicit negation.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 149, 2, Pp. 290.
2019
Ruth Mayo. 2019. “Knowledge and Distrust May Go a Long Way in the Battle With Disinformation: Mental Processes of Spontaneous Disbelief.” Current Directions in Psychological Science, 28, 4, Pp. 409–414.
Ruth Mayo. 2019. “The skeptical (ungullible) mindset.” The Social Psychology of Gullibility: Conspiracy Theories, Fake News and Irrational Beliefs, 140.
2018
Tom Noah, Yaacov Schul, and Ruth Mayo. 2018. “Thinking of oneself as an object of observation reduces reliance on metacognitive information.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147, 7, Pp. 1023.
Tom Noah, Yaacov Schul, and Ruth Mayo. 2018. “When both the original study and its failed replication are correct: Feeling observed eliminates the facial-feedback effect.” Journal of personality and social psychology, 114, 5, Pp. 657.
2017
Yonat Zwebner, Anne-Laure Sellier, Nir Rosenfeld, Jacob Goldenberg, and Ruth Mayo. 2017. “We look like our names: The manifestation of name stereotypes in facial appearance.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112, 4, Pp. 527.
Yuval Hart, Avraham E Mayo, Ruth Mayo, Liron Rozenkrantz, Avichai Tendler, Uri Alon, and Lior Noy. 2017. “Creative Foraging: A Quantitative Paradigm for Studying Creative Exploration.” arXiv preprint arXiv:1706.01249.
Yuval Hart, Avraham E Mayo, Ruth Mayo, Liron Rozenkrantz, Avichai Tendler, Uri Alon, and Lior Noy. 2017. “Creative foraging: An experimental paradigm for studying exploration and discovery.” PloS one, 12, 8, Pp. e0182133.
Yonat Zwebner, Anne-Laure Sellier, Nir Rosenfeld, Jacob Goldenberg, and Ruth Mayo. 2017. “We Look Like Our Names: The Manifestation of Name Stereotypes in Facial Appearance (vol 112, pg 527, 2017).” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 113, 4, Pp. 657–657.
2015
Tali Kleiman, Noa Sher, Andrey Elster, and Ruth Mayo. 2015. “Accessibility is a matter of trust: Dispositional and contextual distrust blocks accessibility effects.” Cognition, 142, Pp. 333–344.
Ruth Mayo. 2015. “Cognition is a matter of trust: Distrust tunes cognitive processes.” European Review of Social Psychology, 26, 1, Pp. 283–327.
Johannes Keller, Ruth Mayo, Rainer Greifeneder, and Stefan Pfattheicher. 2015. “Regulatory focus and generalized trust: the impact of prevention-focused self-regulation on trusting others.” Frontiers in psychology, 6, Pp. 254.
2014
Yaacov Schul and Ruth Mayo. 2014. “10 Discounting Information: When False Information Is Preserved and When It Is Not.” Processing inaccurate information: Theoretical and applied perspectives from cognitive science and the educational sciences, Pp. 203.
Ruth Mayo, Dana Alfasi, and Norbert Schwarz. 2014. “Distrust and the positive test heuristic: Dispositional and situated social distrust improves performance on the Wason Rule Discovery Task.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 3, Pp. 985.
Daniella Shidlovski, Yaacov Schul, and Ruth Mayo. 2014. “If I imagine it, then it happened: The Implicit Truth Value of imaginary representations.” Cognition, 133, 3, Pp. 517–529.
Ruth Mayo, Yaacov Schul, and Meytal Rosenthal. 2014. “If you negate, you may forget: Negated repetitions impair memory compared with affirmative repetitions.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 4, Pp. 1541.
2008
Yaacov Schul, Ruth Mayo, and Eugene Burnstein. 2008. “The value of distrust.” Journal of experimental social psychology, 44, 5, Pp. 1293–1302.