Approaching Fake News at the Expense of Truth: A Psychophysiological Study of News on Social Media

Date
2020-01-07
Authors
Kirkwood, Lauren
Minas, Randall
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Abstract
In 2018, sixty-eight percent of adults in America obtained their news from social media sites. During the same period, the amount of fake news online has increased substantially, resulting in increased propagation of false information. The research literature is growing on the effects of fake news on social media, but few studies have examined psychophysiological responses to true and fake news on social media. This research utilizes psychophysiological measures, specifically heart rate variability and skin conductance, to compare the perceived believability of news headlines posted on social media. Our findings indicate that individuals exhibit increased levels of approach behavior to true and fake news on social media. Additionally, higher time spent on social media is related to an increase in approach behavior to fake news. These findings have important implications for research and practice.
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Keywords
The Dark Side of Information Technology Use, fake news, neurois, psychophysiology, social media
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