International Council for Education, Research and Training

Investigating the impact of erroneous use of memes on effective communication


Okafor, Amaka Yvonne

Department of Igbo & other Nigerian languages, Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe, Anambra State, Nigeria



In the ever-evolving digital age, the influence of memes on effective communication cannot be overstated. However, their widespread popularity has also led to a proliferation of erroneous and misleading content. Guided by cultural evolution and evolutionary game theories, this study delves into the impact of the erroneous use of memes within this dynamic landscape. It explores the cognitive effects of encountering such memes on receivers and investigates the factors contributing to the dissemination of erroneous memes. This research identifies key factors contributing to the creation and spread of erroneous memes, such as confirmation bias, emotional appeal, sensationalism, social media algorithms, cognitive biases, and social reinforcement. In addition to its findings, the study provides practical recommendations for memetic literacy and responsible meme creation and sharing. This study contributes to knowledge by advancing our understanding of memes as a unique form of digital communication and their role in shaping public discourse. 


Keywords: Investigation, impact, erroneous use, memes, effective communication.


Impact Statement

The research on the impact of erroneous use of memes on effective communication addresses a critical gap in understanding the dynamics of digital discourse in the contemporary era. By examining the cognitive effects of encountering misleading memes and identifying the factors driving their dissemination, this study provides invaluable insights into the mechanisms shaping online communication. The findings of this research highlight the significant role of confirmation bias, emotional appeal, sensationalism, social media algorithms, cognitive biases, and social reinforcement in the creation and spread of erroneous memes. By shedding light on these factors, the study contributes to a deeper understanding of how misinformation proliferates within digital environments. Moreover, the practical recommendations for memetic literacy and responsible meme creation and sharing offer actionable strategies to mitigate the negative impact of misleading content. These recommendations have the potential to empower individuals to critically evaluate the memes they encounter and engage in more informed online interactions. Overall, this research advances our comprehension of memes as a distinctive form of digital communication and their influence on public discourse. By fostering greater awareness and promoting responsible meme usage, this study contributes to the enhancement of online communication practices and the cultivation of a more discerning digital society.


About Author

Dr. Amaka Yvonne Okafor is a dedicated educator with a wealth of experience in academia and project management. Currently serving as a Lecturer at Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe, she plays a pivotal role in shaping the academic and personal development of students from diverse backgrounds. With a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Imo State University and a Professional Diploma in Education from Nwafor Orizu College of Education, she possesses a strong foundation in both her subject matter and pedagogy. Her commitment to scholarly research is evident through her publications in reputable journals, exploring topics ranging from lexical change in literature to the role of Nigerian Pidgin in communication. Dr. Okafor’s active participation in conferences further underscores her dedication to advancing knowledge and engaging with academic communities. Beyond her professional pursuits, Dr. Okafor enjoys traveling, reading, and fostering meaningful connections with others. 



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