The role of political devotion in sharing partisan misinformation

We have the pleasure to announce the next CBC Seminar on Friday, December 3rd, 2021 at 12:00.


Prof. Clara Pretus Gómez


From Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Barcelona)

Invited by  Salvador Soto-Faraco will give a talk entitled


The role of political devotion in sharing partisan misinformation


Abstract: Online misinformation poses a significant threat to global challenges such as pandemics and climate change. To understand what drives individuals to share misinformation, we conducted two pre-registered experiments with conservatives and far-right supporters in the US and Spain (N = 1,609) and a neuroimaging study with far-right supporters in Spain (N = 36). Individuals who felt their personal identity was fused with their political group were more likely to share misinformation, especially around sacred moral issues (e.g., immigration and nationalism). Far-right supporters showed increased activity in brain regions associated with theory of mind in response to posts with sacred values, highlighting the social nature of misinformation sharing. Critically, sharing misinformation about sacred values (vs. non-sacred values) was as likely in individuals with high compared to low propensity for analytical thinking. In line with this, interventions based on analytical thinking had little or no effect, especially among hyper-partisans, who were also most likely to share misinformation across conditions. These results suggest that political devotion plays a key role in misinformation sharing. Interventions aiming to reduce misinformation would benefit from adopting a social identity perspective, especially those targeting hyper-partisans. 





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