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Credibility Evaluations of Fake News

With the increasing amount of exposed information on the Internet, upon which everybody can post something, the evaluation of credibility and trustworthiness becomes difficult. The current phenomenon fake news does not make the access to reliable information easier. Little research has been done on when people actually believe fake news. Because of the vast amount of information in the online world, which could make the time to evaluate every item limited, it is questioned whether this has an influence on credibility evaluations. This study aimed to examine this scientific gap by investigating the dependence of type of information processing on credibility evaluations of fake news. It was hypothesized intuitive processing leads to higher credibility evaluations than deliberative processing. An online sample of 534 participants was recruited. In either an intuition or deliberation condition, participants evaluated credibility of fake news items in an online questionnaire. Results showed that processing information in an intuitive way leads to lower credibility evaluations (p < .05). The hypothesis was not supported, which makes more research necessary.

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