'New findings about why some people fall for fake news and pseudo-profound bullshit'
A PDF version of the full paper can be seen by using the link at this site.People who overclaim their level of knowledge and are impressed by pseudo-profound bullshit are also more likely to believe fake news, according to new research published in the Journal of Personality.
“I’ve long had an interest in the pitfalls (and strengths) of human reasoning and had published some work on why people fall for bullshit,” explained study author Gordon Pennycook, an assistant professor at the University of Regina.
In three studies of 1,606 participants recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, the researchers found that people who viewed bullshit statements to be profound were more likely to view fake news headlines as accurate.
The participants judged the accuracy of a variety of fake and real news headlines. Participants who had a tendency to claim to be familiar with things that didn’t actually exist or that couldn’t be known were also more likely to view fake news as accurate.
Those who scored higher on a measure of analytic thinking, on the other hand, tended to be less susceptible to believing fake news headlines.
“Reasoning errors are (often) not random. There are systematic differences between people in terms of how they approach content on social media,” Pennycook told PsyPost.
“We have only looked at a thin slice of the larger bullshit pie (apologies for the gross imagery),” Pennycook added. “There are a lot of deceptive and false types of claims that people have to contend with (particularly in the internet age), and I would consider this a preliminary look into the issue.”