‘Fake news’: Incorrect, but hard to correct. The role of cognitive ability on the impact of false information on social impressions

Citation data:

Intelligence, ISSN: 0160-2896, Vol: 65, Page: 107-110

Publication Year:
Usage 364
Abstract Views 198
Link-outs 86
Clicks 80
Captures 124
Readers 112
Exports-Saves 12
Mentions 7
Blog Mentions 5
References 1
News Mentions 1
Social Media 1385
Shares, Likes & Comments 919
Tweets 466
Citations 1
Citation Indexes 1
Jonas De keersmaecker; Arne Roets
Elsevier BV
Psychology; Arts and Humanities
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
Most Recent Blog Mention
Most Recent News Mention
article description
The present experiment (N = 390) examined how people adjust their judgment after they learn that crucial information on which their initial evaluation was based is incorrect. In line with our expectations, the results showed that people generally do adjust their attitudes, but the degree to which they correct their assessment depends on their cognitive ability. In particular, individuals with lower levels of cognitive ability adjusted their attitudes to a lesser extent than individuals with higher levels of cognitive ability. Moreover, for those with lower levels of cognitive ability, even after the explicit disconfirmation of the false information, adjusted attitudes remained biased and significantly different from the attitudes of the control group who was never exposed to the incorrect information. In contrast, the adjusted attitudes of those with higher levels of cognitive ability were similar to those of the control group. Controlling for need for closure and right-wing authoritarianism did not influence the relationship between cognitive ability and attitude adjustment. The present results indicate that, even in optimal circumstances, the initial influence of incorrect information cannot simply be undone by pointing out that this information was incorrect, especially in people with relatively lower cognitive ability.