During the past two years, fake news has been a frequent topic of real news, with articles considering the role of social media in spreading fake news, the advent of fake videos and the role these play in the political process.
Something less well-known, though, is that fake news has also become a topic of scientific investigation.
As a cognitive scientist, one of the questions that most fascinates me is whether and how fake news affects people’s attitudes and behaviors. This is a question for social science, with a particular role for social and cognitive psychology. To find out more, I reached out to Steven Sloman, professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University, and one of the paper’s 16 authors. Sloman is also author of The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone, a book about the merits and failings of our collaborative minds, published in 2017 with co-author Philip Fernbach. Sloman was kind enough to answer a few questions about the science of fake news by e-mail. Our exchange is below.
Read the whole story: NPR