How social context affects decision-making processes to believe in false information

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Alikarami, Elnaz
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Neuroscience
The rise of fake news is posing an increasing threat to societies worldwide, but little is known about the cognitive processes that influence acceptance of false information. Here we report that social context influences such judgments. One hundred and eight participants went through 32 statements and were asked for each, “how likely is that the statement is true?” In half of the trials, the participants were provided with the opinion of a survey population and in half they were not. They were told the number of the people who believed that the statement is true and the number of the people who believed that the statement is false. The participants were asked to answer the same question again after getting the social feedback. The results show that individuals were reliably influenced by social feedback with a reaction proportional to the direction of the feedback.
Cognitive psychology , Critical Thinking , Fake news , Judgment , Reasoning (Psychology) , Thought and thinking , Dissertations, Academic