how to uncover fake news

Why it's easy to fall for fake news

Only others fall for fake news. Illiterate people, fans of conspiracy theories and especially people with a different political opinion. Ain't that right?

Psychological studies conclude that we are more credulous than we think.

Did you ever fall for fake news? Research shows its simple to brainwash us into believing lies.

Three reasons we fall for fake news

The confirmation trap

We quickly remember false facts when they support our preconceived opinion. Facts that support our beliefs are easy to feel and memorize. Meaning: We are less critical when we hear information that complies with our view of the world. If a statement confirms our opinion, we're more likely to believe it.

The memory trap

Our brain quickly stores inaccurate information. If we read false information without questioning it, our brain memorizes it and the fake news has a lasting effect and can even influence our thinking. Read more on : "The consequences of inaccurate information"  

A note upfront: The full research article by Professor David Rapp is behind a paywall.

In his experiment, one group of participants received statements with false information. The second group got true but irrelevant information. Both groups then answered a quiz.

The group who had read false information, had far worse results than the other group.

Ergo, we are not always aware where and when we absorb and record lies.

The mix trap

Fake news are often so powerful because they contain a mix of real and made-up facts. If we know that one part of information is true, we assume the rest is accurate as well.

How can you spot fake news?

I made a video for you: