1932

Abstract

Deceptive claims surround us, embedded in fake news, advertisements, political propaganda, and rumors. How do people know what to believe? Truth judgments reflect inferences drawn from three types of information: base rates, feelings, and consistency with information retrieved from memory. First, people exhibit a bias to accept incoming information, because most claims in our environments are true. Second, people interpret feelings, like ease of processing, as evidence of truth. And third, people can (but do not always) consider whether assertions match facts and source information stored in memory. This three-part framework predicts specific illusions (e.g., truthiness, illusory truth), offers ways to correct stubborn misconceptions, and suggests the importance of converging cues in a post-truth world, where falsehoods travel further and faster than the truth.

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2020-01-04
2024-04-17
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