University of Twente Student Theses


Trust in fake news, individual climate attitudes, and political preference

Esschert, Maud van den (2020) Trust in fake news, individual climate attitudes, and political preference.

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Abstract:This research is centred around fake news perceptions on social media. It is placed in the context of political news reports. This is connected to the global issue of climate change. The spectrum of opinions within the climate change debate; its existence, harmfulness, and human responsibility, seem to be corresponding with political tendencies: right-wing politicians are usually anti-climate, whereas left-wing politicians express a more supportive attitude. This study has investigated the psychological construct trust in disputed anti-climate Tweets by right-wing politicians, and its relation to individual climate attitudes, by means of an online questionnaire. The determinant political preference was analyzed as a possible moderator. The importance of demographic characteristics (such as age, gender, and nationality) for the main variables was tested. It has been found that trust and climate attitudes are correlated, but moderation by political opinion could not be confirmed. This study serves as a guideline for more detailed (e.g. focusing on one relationship specifically), or broader (e.g. taking more determinants as possible moderators/mediators) future research, and sheds light upon the perception of politically motivated fake news concerning the global issue of climate change.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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