For psychologists, fake news provides a worrying insight into human cognition, as Tabitha Carvan reports.
Dr Eryn Newman is describing the results of one of her studies of ‘truthiness’ at the ANU Research School of Psychology: “The really cool thing about this is … ,” she begins, before stopping herself mid-sentence. “No, wait. I should say, it’s the really disturbing thing.”
Participants were more likely to agree with the claim ‘Nick Cave is alive’ when it was accompanied by a picture of Nick cave on stage.
That’s the problem with studying the perception of truth in the fake news era: there’s a lot of cool data from a scientific perspective, but the real world implications are far more concerning.
Dr Newman goes on to describe her fascinating findings in this article (https://reporter.anu.edu.au/truth-about-truthiness) in the ANU Reporter.