Study Finds You Create Your Own Fake News
As it turns out, you’re your own purveyor of false information, according to a study published in the online journal Human Communication Research. “People can self-generate their own misinformation. It doesn't all come from external sources,” said lead author of the study Jason Coronel in a report by Phys.Org. “They may not be doing it purposely, but their own biases can lead them astray. And the problem becomes larger when they share their self-generated misinformation with others.”
This could be the reason why people on opposite sides of a political spectrum often accuse each other of spreading fake news—they could both be right, but only because of biases.
The study revealed that people’s biases affect what people remembered when presented with hard facts and data. But it does not end there. The study further finds that when people pass misremembered information to others, they tend to pass information that is even more inaccurate than what they misremembered.
“You would think that if they were paying more attention to the numbers that went against their expectations, they would have a better memory for them. But that's not what we found,” said Coronel in the same report.
The researchers conclude that people should not only be wary of false information that they encounter from the outside world, but should also be aware of false news that they are inadvertently making by misremembering because of their biases.