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The role of individuals’ intellectual openness and different information processing styles in perceived news accuracy in the context of ideological polarization

Bockholt, E. (2020) The role of individuals’ intellectual openness and different information processing styles in perceived news accuracy in the context of ideological polarization.

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Abstract:Nowadays, the way people obtain news coverage becomes increasingly related to the internet. Here, users can reach a wide range of people by fast and simplified message transmission, which might be beneficial for valid, informative news. However, it can pose a serious threat to society if the spread news contains fake messages, especially in ideologically polarized contexts. Research has shown that fake news can trigger and uphold lies, racism, and stir up hatred against others. The current study takes on to investigate underlying factors of people’s perceived fake news accuracy. More specifically, it researches the potential correlation of factors such as intellectual openness, heuristic, and systematic processing styles and general trust in journalists with perceived fake and, for the sake of comparison, with perceived real news accuracy. A correlational survey was conducted, including a convenience sample of 113 participants that have been recruited to take part in a questionnaire. The questionnaire contained several measurement scales that aimed at investigating the independent variables in a political context. Furthermore, individuals’ perceived fake and real news accuracy was measured by having the participants rate different news items on a credibility scale. Multiple and moderation regression analyses were conducted to examine the data. The results showed significant correlations between the dependent variable of Perceived Fake News Accuracy and of Perceived Real News Accuracy with General Trust. Hence, the study proves that high trust in journalists leads to higher perceived real news accuracy in people, but to lower perceived accuracy of fake news. The variables Intellectual Openness as well as Systematic and Heuristic Processing showed to not account for Perceived Fake News Accuracy to a statistically significant extent.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/82052
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