Statement on Riot at U.S. Congress

On January 6, 2021, the world witnessed a mob fueled by misinformation and anger storm the United States Capitol Building to subvert the electoral process and the peaceful transfer of power in the United States. These horrific events have tragically resulted in the loss of life, injuries to law enforcement officers, the destruction of property, and damage to U.S. democracy.

“These events are a sad reflection of increased political polarization and the willful propagation of misinformation and conspiracy theories,” said Robert Gropp, executive director of the Association for Psychological Science (APS). “We must endeavor to break the cycles of vitriol, hatred, and mistrust that have taken root in the United States and in other countries around the world.”

Psychological science research provides insights to help us combat misinformation campaigns and the spread of conspiracy theories, as well as foster effective communication. APS has compiled resources related to these topics that we are pleased to make available to the public on our website.

The APS Board of Directors and staff members have been considering additional ways that APS and its members can advance research and the application of existing psychological science knowledge to promote greater civil engagement in political discourse. More details about these efforts will be announced in the future.

Related APS Resources: Conspiracy Theories, Myths and Misinformation, and Public Distrust