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Military Psychology Conference 2018

Thursday 8th November 2018 at The Ark Conference Centre, Basingstoke

Would I misinform you? The psychological impact of misinformation

Ascertaining what is real and what is false has always been a priority in defence and security. Carl von Clausewitz’s On War was published in 1832 following the Napoleaonic wars and identified a key problem in the ‘uncertainty of all information’. Similarly, in recent years the civilian world has seen a rise in allegations of ‘fake news’, and the rapid rise of social media has made it increasingly difficult to tell the difference between what is real and what is false, warping perceptions of what is normal and our understanding of the world.

  • How can we spot social media that is presenting information in a mis-leading way?
  • What are the defence and security challenges in today's information age?
  • How can psychological research and practice support the well-being of those facing misinformation?
  • What is effect of misinformation on decision making?
  • How do we understand risk when we cannot be certain of the information received?

This conference aims to bring together researchers and practitioners to foster an understanding of the psychological impact of misinformation and identify areas of good psychological practice for future research. Through presentations, poster sessions and workshops we will discuss the psychological impact of misinformation in the following three areas:

  1. Risk taking
  2. Decision-making
  3. Wellbeing

Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to announce 2 of our Keynote Speakers.

Professor Karen Douglas
The psychology of conspiracy theories

Professor Rebecca Milne
Don't break the chain - from effective communication to successful decision-making

Click here to download the Keynote Abstracts.

Conference Programme & Presenter Biographies

To download the full conference programme, please click here.
Last updated: 09.15 Wednesday 17th October 2018

Click here to download the abstracts for the oral and poster presentations.
Oral Presentation Speaker Biographies can be downloaded here.
Poster Presenter Biographies can be downloaded here.

Who is the conference intended for?

Researchers, psychological practitioners, military, clinicians, defence and security professionals, emergency services personnel, and anyone with an interest in risk-taking, decision-making and wellbeing psychology.

Members, non members, students, and related professions in military and emergency services are all welcome.

Learning outcomes and objectives

  • Improved understanding of the current research evidence in the area of decision making, risk taking and well being in the area of misinformation
  • Improved understanding of practitioner tools and techniques to address misinformation in organisational and clincal settings
  • Enhanced networks for researchers and practitioners

Poster Prize sponsored by Security Lancaster, Lancaster University

We are delighted to confirm that Security Lancaster, Lancaster University are sponsoring our Poster Presentation.

The first place prize winner will receive £150, the runner up will receive £100. Posters will be judged by an independent panel.


Submissions are no longer being accepted for this event. Submissions were accepted until 23:59 Sunday 30th September 2018


Bursaries are available for student members of the BPS who are studying at a UK university that are attending the Wessex Branch 6th Military Psychology conference kindly sponsored by Lancaster Security, Lancaster University. Applicants must be members of the Society. To apply please read the criteria to check your eligibility and complete the Application Form. The bursary will cover the delegate fee to attend the conference and a contribution to travel expenses.

Deadline for bursary applications extended: 12.00 Midday Wednesday 31st October 2018

Delegate fees can be found on the booking form. Please note, early bird rates are available until 10:00 Monday 22nd October 2018. If you have any queries please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 224507.


This event is made possible through the generous support of the following organisations:



Thursday 8th November 2018

Please note, all speakers, timings and content are subject to change.

08:00Networking Breakfast & briefing on new BPS Defence and Security Section
08:30Conference Registration
09:00Welcome and Housekeeping Dr Kathryn Fielden, Chair BPS Wessex Branch
09:05Speaker TBC
09:15Keynote Presentation: What are some of the consequences of conspiracy theories and can such theories be harmful? - Professor Karen Douglas, University of Kent
10:0060 second poster flash talks
10:15Refreshments and poster viewing
10:45Parallel Sessions
11:15Parallel Session
11:45Keynote Presentation: A military perspective - Presenter TBC
12:30Lunch and poster viewing
13:15Keynote Presentation: Don't break the chain - from effective communication to successful decision-making - Professor Rebecca Milne, University of Portsmouth
14:00Fooled by false information? A technique for quantifying how much information individuals choose to accept or reject in any situation - Dr Graham Edgar, University of Gloucestershire
14:30Confusing and Obvious: Tactical Psychology as Information Exchange - Dermot Rooney
15:00Refreshments and poster viewing
15:30The effect of message source and recipient characteristics on the organic reach of Fake News: do trust, risk propensity or personality affect the likelihood of spreading misinformation? - Professor Tom Buchanan, University of Westminster
16:00Social media, trust and heuristics - Dr John McAlaney, Bournemouth University
16:30Workshop TBC
17:00Closing remarks and poster prize winner announcement - Fiona Butcher, Conference Organising Committee
17:15Conference Close

Speakers and Facilitators


Professor Karen Douglas

Keynote Speaker
Karen Douglas obtained her PhD from the Australian National University. She was a lecturer at Keele University before moving to the University of Kent, where she is now a Professor of Social Psychology. Karen studies the psychological processes that explain belief in conspiracy theories, and some of the social, health and environmental consequences of conspiracy theories.


Professor Rebecca Milne

BSc (Hons). PhD CPsychol CSci AFBPsS

Becky Milne is a Professor of Forensic Psychology at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth. The main focus of her work over the past twenty years concerns the examination of police interviewing and investigation. Jointly with practitioners, she has helped to develop procedures that improve the quality of interviews of witnesses, victims, intelligence sources, and suspects of crime across many countries. As a result, she works closely with the police (and other criminal justice organisations), creating novel interview techniques, developing training, running interview courses, and providing case advice. She is also the Director of the Centre of Forensic Interviewing, which is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for investigative interviewing that brings together research, teaching, and innovation activities. Becky is a member of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC, UK), Investigative Interviewing Strategic Steering Group and was part of a writing team who developed the 2007 version of the Achieving Best Evidence document, National guidelines for interviewing vulnerable groups. She is an Affiliate of CREST. She was given the Tom Williamson award for her outstanding achievements in the field of investigative interviewing by NPCC in April 2009.


The Ark Conference Centre

Dinwoodie Drive, Basingstoke RG24 9NN •  Website•  Directions

Additional Information

Click here to download further information.

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