These Personality Traits Could Make People More Susceptible to Fake News

Fake news is one of the most significant problems that the world is facing right now, but a new study in the journal “Personality and Individual Differences” revealed that people who have certain personality traits might be more susceptible to fake news than might have been the case otherwise. According to the findings, there are three types of personality traits that could make someone prone to believe fake news, namely schizotypal, paranoid and histrionic.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that these personality traits can make critical thinking more of a challenge. That can lead to bearers of these personality traits forming connections that aren’t actually objective or factually correct.

One thing to not here is that such personality traits are not exactly a modern invention. In spite of the fact that this is the case, access to the internet is exacerbating the tendency of individuals with these traits to obtain access to conspiracy theories that they would then immediately use to fill in the gaps with faulty logic.

The study in question involved 1,483 people, who were tested with a wide range of personality tests. They were then given a test that was meant to gauge their ability to spot misinformation pertaining to Covid-19, with 18 pieces of news being given 6 of which were factual, 6 incorrect and 6 didn’t have enough context to prove anything either way.

Participants in this study were quite prone to the Barnum effect, wherein a generalized piece of information seems like it pertains to only them rather than being a vague statement that actually applies to a number of people. This effect can be used maliciously because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making people believe things that just aren’t true.

The findings of this study are quite interesting, since they shed some light on misinformation and how it tends to spread. Access to this much information can be overwhelming, and more work needs to be done to find a solution.

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