The impact of cognitive biases on the believability of fake news


Information Systems and Security

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Modern technologies, especially social networks, contribute to the rapid evolution and spread of fake news. Although the creation of fake news is a serious issue, it is the believability of fake news and subsequent actions that produce negative outcomes that can be harmful to individuals and society. Prior research has focused primarily on the role of confirmation bias in explaining the believability of fake news, but other biases are likely. In this research, we use theories of truth and a taxonomy of 10 cognitive biases to conduct an exploratory, qualitative survey of social media users. Five cognitive biases (herd, framing, overconfidence, confirmation, and anchoring) emerge as the most influential. We then propose a Cognitive Bias Mitigation Model of methods that could reduce the believability of fake news. The mitigation methods are grouped according to three themes as they relate to the five biases.

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European Journal of Information Systems

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