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New Study Investigates Link Between Fake News And False Memories

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doitvoluntarily
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25 days agoSteemit2 min read

According to a recently published study from the journal Psychological Science, researchers investigated the potential for how easily people might be manipulated with fake news.

They presented participants with a variety of stories to read on a particular topic, some of which were nothing but total fabrications. Later on, when trying to analyze false memories, they discovered that roughly half of the subjects from the study reported memories of reading stories that were complete fabrications.

They found that individuals were more likely to remember false information if it aligned with their own personal political views.

Not everyone is equally susceptible to the manipulation however, researchers discovered that those individuals who scored lower on cognitive ability tests were more likely to be fooled and manipulated..

It does not matter what specific political views might be held, because this was seen across the spectrum, regardless of whether they were "left" or "right" etc. Even after the researchers had admitted that some of the news stories participants had read in the study might be fake, they still failed to correctly identify which ones those might be.

The researchers concluded that it's overwhelmingly easy to manipulate individuals by exploiting their biases.

In conclusion, they affirmed that people would act on their fake memories and it's often very difficult to try and get them to admit when fake news might be just that, a total fabrication. People aren't easily convinced that they've been fooled.

This study [results] suggests that voters in a real-world political campaign are most susceptible to forming false memories for fake news that aligns with their beliefs, in particular if they have low cognitive ability.

The debate over what exactly fake news is or how it should be dealt with continues to go on, with governments increasing calling on tech companies and others to solve the problem by censoring what's considered to be fake news and what they deem as a part of the problem. Since millions of people can be so easily manipulated and fooled through fake news, it doesn't seem wise then to give them an apparatus that allows them to inflict their will and violence upon others, through means of government action.

Pics:
pixabay

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