Debunking study suggests ways to counter misinformation and correct 'fake news' | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Debunking study suggests ways to counter misinformation and correct 'fake news'

It's no use simply telling people they have their facts wrong. To be more effective at correcting misinformation in news accounts and intentionally misleading "fake news," you need to provide a detailed counter-message with new information—and get your audience to help develop a new narrative.

Those are some takeaways from an extensive new meta-analysis of laboratory debunking studies published in the journal Psychological Science. The analysis, the first conducted with this collection of debunking data, finds that a detailed counter-message is better at persuading people to change their minds than merely labeling misinformation as wrong. But even after a detailed debunking, misinformation still can be hard to eliminate, the study finds.

"The effect of misinformation is very strong," said co-author Dolores Albarracin, professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "When you present it, people buy it. But we also asked whether we are able to correct for misinformation. Generally, some degree of correction is possible but it's very difficult to completely correct."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Vulgus vult decepi -- the (common) people wish to be deceived." -- Phaedrus

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