Alberto Acerbi

Recent Posts

Interested in analysis of social media data from a cultural evolution perspective?

Cultural analytics needs theory

Can’t you just stop annoying them? They have good intentions!

How we can be cultural animals beside copying others?

Some content spreads better in social media, but how can we know if it is because of social media?

Recent Publications

As the use of large language models (LLMs) grows, it is important to examine whether they exhibit biases in their output. Research in …

In this paper, we perform a text analysis of Adam Smith’s two books, the Theory of Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations, to …

The role of nature documentaries in shaping public attitudes and behaviour towards conservation and wildlife issues is unclear. We …

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Current widespread narrative states that misinformation is abundant on social media, it has a relative advantage with respect to true …

Una narrativa molto diffusa sostiene che la disinformazione sia abbondante nei social media, sia avvantaggiata nella circolazione …

A current widespread narrative states that misinformation is abundant on social media, it has a relative advantage with respect to true …

Selected media


Clima. Disinformazione e comportamenti - una sfida per gli studiosi

I participated to a debate (in Italian) on climate disinformation on the RSI - Radio svizzera di lingua italiana.

Lab take on a kids’ game reveals biases in ChatGPT

Nature Italy covers our research on content biases in large language models.

SIBF 2023 - Influencing is hard work, says expert panel discussing and dissecting impacts of social media

I have been invited to the Sharjah International Book Fair, to present my book and research on digital and social media.

The dark side of life

BBC Wildlife July covers our research on twitter response to the nature documentary Our Planet.

Misinformation alarmism taps into the tendency to view other people as gullible, study suggests

A study in New Media & Society suggests that people feel threatened by misinformation because they believe other people are more …

What the misinformation scare reveals about faith in democracy

The Washington Post covers our research on third-person effect and perceived danger of misinformation.

New research highlights the misinformation about misinformation research

A paper published in the journal Social Media + Society identifies six misconceptions about misinformation.

Se battre contre la désinformation ou pour l’information?

An article on Futura Science (in French) on our model showing that focusing on engagment with true news is more productive than …

Should we spend less time fighting misinformation and more time fighting for information?

Nieman Lab reports on our model on fighting misinformation VS fighting for information.

Populisme, vaccination. Pourquoi surestime-t-on le phenomene des Fake News

An article from Les Echos on online misinformation and its overestimation.

The Dissenter - Cultural Evolution in the Digital Age

I have been interviewed in the podcast ‘The Dissenter’ on my research.

Cultural Evolution in the Digital Age interview

An interview for Cultured Scene, the magazie of the Early Career Social Learning Researcher’s Society.

Heaven knows pop’s miserable now

The Times covers our research on cultural evolution of emotions in song lyrics.

Tout ce que vous pensiez savoir d’Internet est (sans doute) faux

An excellent review (in french) of Cultural Evolution in the Digital Age.

Why are pop songs getting sadder than they used to be?

A piece for Aeon on our research on the cultural evolution of emotion in pop song lyrics.

How digital’s defining culture

Press release of Brunel University for the publication of Cultural Evolution in the Digital Age.

Les vraies raisons du succès des infox

An article on my research on cognitive attraction and misinformation (in french).

Perché le fake news ci attraggono? Un contributo dall’antropologia cognitiva ed evoluzionistica

A summary of my research on cognitive attraction and misinformation (in italian).

Dedicated Followers (After a Fashion)

I have been interviewed by a marketing magazine about fake followers and similar. I am sceptical about their effects.

The Trouble with Cultural Evolution

Philosopher Massmio Pigliucci discusses our If we are all cultural darwinians, what is the fuss about? on Plato’s Footnotes.

How much is that doggie from the movie?

The New York Times reports on our research on the effect of movies on dog breeds popularity.

The Lassie effect. Movies drive our preference for certain dog breeds

Our paper on how movies impact on dog breeds popularity is featured in Science.

Why hard times make for miserable books

CNN on our Books average previous decade of economic misery.

Information is power

An interview (in italian) with Radio3 Scienza (I start around min. 18). Click to download the podcast.

Literature gloom mirrors economic misery, study finds

The Guardian reports on our research on economy and emotions in books.

The History of Our Emotions in Millions of Books

I wrote a piece for the Huffington Post on our paper on emotions in 20th century books.

Text mining uncovers British reserve and US emotion

Nature features our paper The expression of emotions in 20th century books.

Aiuto, i nostri romanzi hanno perso le emozioni

Our research on emotions in 20th century books featured by la Repubblica (in italian).

Planck, Elusive Giant Squid, Emotive words

I have been interviewed by Adam Rutherford for BBC4 Material world on our research on emotions in 20th century books.


In 2023/2024 I will be involved in the following modules:


Here is my CV.