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Fake news believability: The effects of political beliefs and espoused cultural values
Information and Management, Volume: 60, Issue: 2, Start page: 103745
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Fake news has led to a polarized society as evidenced by diametrically opposed perceptions of and reactions to global events such as the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and presidential campaigns. Popular press has linked individuals’ political beliefs and cultural values to the extent...
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Fake news has led to a polarized society as evidenced by diametrically opposed perceptions of and reactions to global events such as the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and presidential campaigns. Popular press has linked individuals’ political beliefs and cultural values to the extent to which they believe in false content shared on social networking sites (SNS). However, sweeping generalizations run the risk of helping exacerbate divisiveness in already polarized societies. This study examines the effects of individuals’ political beliefs and espoused cultural values on fake news believability using a repeated-measures design (that exposes individuals to a variety of fake news scenarios). Results from online questionnaire-based survey data collected from participants in the US and India help confirm that conservative individuals tend to exhibit increasing fake news believability and show that collectivists tend to do the same. This study advances knowledge on characteristics that make individuals more susceptible to lending credence to fake news. In addition, this study explores the influence exerted by control variables (i.e., age, sex, and Internet usage). Findings are used to provide implications for theory as well as actionable insights.
Fake news believability; Espoused cultural values; Political beliefs; Social media; Social networking sites
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences