We investigated the relation between emotional reactivity measured by Perth Emotional Reactivity Scale – Short Form (PERS-S) and trust in fictitious news stories on crime. In Study 1 we found on a sample of 508 older adults (M = 70.6 years) that their general positive and negative emotional reactivity was associated with trust in the presented misinformation, experienced negative emotions elicited by the news stories and willingness to share the news. For young adults in Study 2 (N = 186; M = 21.7) there was a weaker association between emotional reactivity and trust in misinformation, which involved only negative emotional reactivity. For both samples, trust in fictitious news stories was associated with trust in traditional and new media. There was no association between trust in fictitious news stories and high Internet use or high news consumption. Based on our findings, the focus on emotion control and critical reading seems to be important in the fight against misinformation.
The presented paper advocates the unified account of semantic information, misinformation, and disinformation (3I) which uses “semantic correspondence” and “intention” understood as their main distinctive features. It is argued that the proposed approach is neutral about the misleadingness of messages and their meaning and about the evaluation of truthfulness of factual sentences. The suggested model also comprises a wider variety of language expressions than existing conceptions while securing a simple, intuitive but subtle explanation of its individual components and related issues. Primarily, it leaves enough space for the distinction between 1) “relativistic” approach to 3I, which mainly focuses on pragmatic aspects of communication in dynamic multi-agent systems, and 2) special epistemological procedures, which often do not presuppose such a multi-agent environment and work with 3I in “absolute” terms.
The misinformation effect is defined as a distortion of an eyewitness testimony, resulting from introducing to this testimony incorrect details, stemming from sources other than the original event. In a typical experiment the participant first watches a film. Afterwards, he/she reads a description of the film, which in the experimental group contains some incorrect details, and finally answers questions concerning the film, including questions relating to the misled details. The memory performance of misled participants is usually poorer than of non-misled ones. The aim of the presented experiment was to verify whether susceptibility to the misinformation effect is influenced by cognitive overload introduced just before presentation of the misinformation, resulting in cognitive warm-up. Warmed-up subjects were more resistant to misinformation, compared to non-warmed ones. Warmed-up subjects were also better than non-warmed in remembering non-misinformed material.