The BBC said that highly-sophisticated people as smart as scientists and politicians will also be deceived by false news, especially about the cause, spread and anti-epidemic methods of new coronary pneumonia. Experts believe that people believe false news not because they are not smart enough, but because they lack the ability and habits to think first and then make decisions.
Some news is clearly unrealistic, but it spreads fast. In March of this year, a survey conducted by The Economist magazine and the Public Opinion Survey showed that 13% of Americans believe that New Coronary Pneumonia is a complete scam, and 49% believe that New Coronary Pneumonia is caused by man-made of. The BBC pointed out that well-educated people are more likely to be confused by fake news, such as the famous Dr. Kelly Brogan. The MIT neurobiology and Cornell University psychiatry senior student, wrote a bunch of articles about the conspiracy theory of new coronary pneumonia.
After studying this paradox, psychologists found that one of the reasons for this phenomenon is information overload. During the epidemic, people were bombarded with various kinds of information every day, and fake news was written too realistically.
Professor Irene Newman of the School of Psychological Studies at the Australian National University said that fake news is very handy in catching readers’ eyeballs and gaining readers’ trust. For example, to distribute pictures to the news, if it is related to the epidemic, put a picture of the virus magnified by a microscope, and then write several touching stories in vivid language, accompanied by facts and data familiar to readers. Moving out of a famous hospital, the reader will believe its authenticity without inspection. When a news appears repeatedly, people’s doubts about it will gradually decrease.
Research shows that people often share news before they start thinking and verifying its authenticity. Sometimes even though they are in doubt, they still place the “Forward” button without thinking. Gordon Benny Cook, the leader of the fake news psychology research group at the University of Regina in Canada, conducted an experiment. He asked the subjects to browse the news headlines about the new coronavirus. These headlines are true and false. As a result, 1/4 of the test subjects took fake news as true, and even 35% thought it could be reposted.
When facing a news, the first thing people think is not whether the news is true, but how many “likes” they can get after publishing it. The first thing social networks pursue is not authenticity, but more emphasis on the interaction between people. Some people will add their own comment when forwarding false news: “Forwarding, I do not know the true and false…” This completely took off the responsibility of themselves and the publisher of the fake news.
Experts believe that the sensitivity to false news is often not related to intelligence. It depends more on people’s ability to think-whether it will be based on first-hand intuitive impressions and sloppy conclusions without thinking. The famous “Cognitive Reflex” test can assess whether a person’s conclusion is based on intuition or reflection. This test not only reflects intelligence, but also includes the ability to make thoughtful decisions before encountering problems in daily life. The researchers therefore coined the term “cognitive stinginess”, referring to the fact that some people are very clever but often left unused, and they only rely on intuition.
Faced with fake news, people tend to place the “forward” button without thinking about it.
We should do not listen, read or forward fake news.
The principle of cognitive reflex testing also works for false news. Benny Cook finally concluded that the lower the score in the cognitive reflex test, the easier it is to believe false news and the more likely it is to spread it. Stanley Matthews, a professor of psychology at Duke University in the United States, said that people who test low scores are more likely to say “the virus is a scam”, and when faced with the inquiry “will there be changes during the epidemic, For example, when they wash their hands frequently and communicate less, they often talk about him.
True and false
Experts therefore gave some countermeasures against false news. Institutions that publish real information should draw on the successful experience of false news. The text should strive for smoothness and image. It must be said to have a nose and eyes, and be accompanied by illustrations, tables, etc., so that readers can see at a glance. “We must strengthen communication, learn to apply, and guide readers to learn how to respond correctly and learn to think correctly.” Matthews said.
Excessive views on fake news will only make more people think it is true. Therefore, we should not always pay attention to and open false news repeatedly. On the contrary, real news should be given enough attention to let it penetrate into the hearts of the people. The Internet is a place to spread false news, and it can also be a place to fight against false news. We can pop up an inquiry window before the reader wants to forward it: “Do you believe the authenticity of this information? Are you sure you want to forward it?”
As for readers, the expert’s suggestion is to try not to rush to conclusions, but to calmly reflect on whether the content you read is justified. Ask yourself more, whether the information is based on facts, whether the data is scientific and reasonable, whether the author himself has logical errors and fallacies, can he trace the source to verify the source of the information, and clean up the uneven information data?