Negative Fake News Resistant to Fact Checking Study Shows

Fake news has become part of our daily lives. It has become a real ordeal to sort through information and distinguish between the real and the fake. What is the right way to deal with fake news? A recent study published in the International Journal of Psychology sought to examine the influence of fake news in terms of valence even after debunking.Fake News

Read Also: Flagging Content as Unverified Makes Consumers Less Susceptible to Fake Health News

Are you fully aware of the influence fake news can have on your judgment? Are you really immune to fake news because you regularly read articles that are fact-checked? In other words how effective are these articles in influencing our reasoning and beliefs? This is a crucial question that has been explored for some time in the communication and social psychology literature. A recent study published in the International Journal of Psychology attempted to answer this question by adding a variable to the equation: the valence of a piece of information, or in other words, its positive or negative nature.

A study that is consistent with previous research

The question posed by the study about the asymmetry between facts of different valence (positive or negative news) is not new. The experiment is part of an attempt to replicate previous studies. Some studies suggest that there is a more significant influence of negative information than of positive information after correction. The influence that fake news continues to exert on our evaluations and representations, even after correction, has a name: the continuing influence effect. It is accepted in the literature that fake news can influence us to a greater or lesser extent once we have been exposed to it, even if we correct it later.

Read Also: Coronavirus Pandemic: The Flip-Flops of the Scientific Community

The power of negative fake news

In this study, the researchers invented a fictitious situation, namely about a German hospital. In the first experiment, the hospital was presented to participants as if it had received an award because it had the lowest mortality rate in Europe. In the second experiment, researchers instead painted the hospital negatively because it had the highest mortality rate in Europe. In each experiment, one part of the group was corrected while the other part was not. The authors found a persistent influence of negative news ratings after the correction. On the other hand, they noted a backfire effect associated with the positive news correction. However, the news correction in both scenarios works quite well compared to a situation without intervention.

Read Also: Chinese Coronavirus Whistleblower’s Proof Not Enough To Sway the Scientific Consensus That SARS-Cov-2 Is of Natural Origin

Final Thoughts

While the backfiring may have cast doubt on the practice of fact-checking, the lack of replications showing its existence makes the practice all the more interesting: The main lesson we can draw from recent work on fake news is that corrections work, even if their effect is often modest. But fact-checking cannot be removed from the context in which it takes place. Who is behind it? How does it take place? When fact-checking is used heavily and inappropriately against fake news, it can sometimes backfire.


The Continued influence of misinformation in times of COVID-19

When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions

Articles you may like:

Vaping: Devastating Effects on the Lungs

Flavored Electronic Cigarettes Lead to Cardiac Arrhythmias in Mice

Vaping: Not as Safe as You Think

Chronic Pain Can Lead To Anxiety and Depression According to NeuRA Study

Brain Health: Sleep Deprivation Negatively Affects Memory Study Shows

Giving Employees the Possibility to Take a 30 Minute Nap Improves Productivity

Global Food Security: Climate Change Is Likely to Cause More Plant Diseases Which Will Affect Crop Yield

Self Improvement: When Positive Thinking Becomes Unconducive to Success and Happiness

Vaccination rates below 90% Could Paradoxically Promote the Emergence of Resistant Variants

Nightmare Scenario: Could the Current Poorly Implemented Vaccination Campaign Lead to More Deadly SARS-CoV-2 Strains

Diets High in Plant Proteins Protect Women from Dementia, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer

Drinking Too Much Coffee Can Reduce Brain Size, and Cause Dementia

Possible Causes of the Sudden Fall In COVID-19 Infections in the UK and Europe

SARS-CoV-2 Transmissibility: Can You Really Catch COVID-19 through Flatulence (Farts)?

MIT: A Once a Month Contraceptive Pill Could Soon Become Reality

Moderna and Pfizer’s mRNA Vaccines Do Not Make Straight Men Gay

Researchers to Start Testing Male Contraceptive Gel

Gilmore Health

Coronavirus: The Real and False Side Effects of COVID-19 Vaccines

Guillain-Barré Syndrome Observed after the First Dose of the AstraZeneca Vaccine



Want to Stay Informed?

Join the Gilmore Health News Newsletter!

Want to live your best life?

Get the Gilmore Health Weekly newsletter for health tips, wellness updates and more.

By clicking "Subscribe," I agree to the Gilmore Health and . I also agree to receive emails from Gilmore Health and I understand that I may opt out of Gilmore Health subscriptions at any time.