Political Bias is the Single Biggest Component in Misinformation, New Study Reveals

The spread of misinformation has become a concerningly prevalent problem as of late, with the recent pandemic bringing this issue to the fore in an unprecedented manner. Most people assume that gullibility among the general populace is what leads to misinformation getting spread around more than might have been the case otherwise. In spite of the fact that this is the case, a new study has revealed that a lack of so called truth sensitivity might not actually be the main culprit here.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that this study, which was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, shed some light on the state of misinformation. One thing that it revealed was that it wasn’t truth sensitivity but rather political bias that could make someone or the other more likely to share fake news that they see on some kind of a social media platform.

The study involved experiments which were conducted with over 2,400 participants drawn from various backgrounds in America. The participants were sourced from both sides of the political spectrum, and they were shown 60 headlines to determine their level of bias with all things having been considered and taken into account.

One thing that this revealed was that most participants displayed a strong ability to discern between true or false information. Also, people that assume that they have an above average ability to spot fake news from real news were also far more likely to let their political biases lead them astray.

Such studies are important because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up explaining the mechanisms behind the spread of misinformation. Assuming that you can tell which information is false could lead to you believing in your own biases, since you would be unable to determine if a news piece that confirms your biases is not presenting factual information. More work will need to be done in order to further these findings and help bring an end to the age of misinformation.

Photo: Freepik/Redgreystock

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