People who are repeatedly exposed to the same false information, even if they’re initially told that it is false, feel fewer qualms sharing it on social media after each additional time they see it. In five experiments involving more than 2,500 Americans, Daniel Effron, who teaches organizational behavior at the London Business School, and Medha Raj, a PhD student at the University of Southern California, documented how seeing a fake headline just once leads individuals to temper their disapproval of the misinformation when they see it a second, third or fourth time. They outline their findings in the new edition of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
“Misinformation can stoke political polarization and undermine democracy, so it is important for people to understand when and why it spreads,” said Effron.
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