Others (dis-)endorse this so it must (not) be true: High relative endorsement increases perceived misinformation veracity but not correction effectiveness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

People increasingly rely on social-media platforms to access information; thus, understanding how platform characteristics influence belief in misinformation is important. Recent findings indicate perceived social endorsement of information (e.g., number of likes) can influence misinformation belief and correction acceptance. However, how the influence of endorsement may be modulated by concurrent disendorsement information (e.g., dislikes) is unclear. Across two experiments, we assessed the influence of relative endorsement on misinformation belief and correction acceptance. Experiment 1 exposed participants to claims and fact-checks with a high or low likes-to-dislikes ratio. Experiment 2 simplified the relative-endorsement information into a single value (i.e., a percentage). Results suggest high relative social endorsement of misinformation significantly increases misinformation belief, particularly when the endorsement information is presented as a single value. Conversely, relative endorsement had a negligible impact on correction effectiveness. This suggests perceived relative endorsement may influence belief primarily when other cues of information veracity are unavailable.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4146
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Volume38
Issue number1
Early online date2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

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