University of Twente Student Theses


Fake News and Social Media

Lange, D.A. (2019) Fake News and Social Media.

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Abstract:‘Fake news’ about climate change on online social media platform make it difficult for many people to distinguish between truthful and fabricated information causing severe ineffectiveness and uncertainty in information seeking and processing. This can foster inaccurate risk perception which hinders people’s self-engagement in information seeking and processing, which ultimately results in unsafe behaviours and inadequate precautions that increase potential harm. Contextual cues of information online, such as source expertise, comment sentiment, and advertisement are thought to influence the perceived credibility of presented information. A sample of 144 Dutch and German students completed a 15-minute online experimental questionnaire. Independent variables were source expertise, comment sentiment, and advertisement, on which the manipulations in this study were based upon. The dependent variable was perceived credibility which was measured by a scale compiled of accuracy, fairness, and believability. Participants were randomly allocated into either high or low conditions and then compared. Results indicate that source credibility and comment sentiment do influence perceived credibility of online information. No difference was found for advertisement presence. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, recommendations are given.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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