We regularly overestimate the position older age has in susceptibility to misinformation, in response to a brand new examine about pretend information. Whereas folks over 70 do have a tougher time distinguishing actual from pretend, these of their 60s have about the identical quantity of media literacy as school college students.
“People have this perception that older adults are going to perform worse than young adults across the board,” one of many examine’s co-authors, Prof. Brian Cahill, advised
. “But that is not the case.”
The examine, printed on Could 2 within the
, seemed extra deeply into how and why pretend information was shared on-line. Within the early levels of the pandemic — from Could to October of 2020 — they evaluated the analytical reasoning, have an effect on, frequency of reports consumption, and talent to tell apart actual new from pretend information in two teams of individuals: school college students, and adults between the ages of 61 and 87.
Is it actual information, or is it pretend?
Individuals had been requested to learn 12 information articles, half actual and half pretend, each about COVID and different information matters, together with tales about crime, faith and politics. The true articles had been from respected information organizations just like the Washington Submit and the New York Occasions, whereas pretend articles had been tales that had been debunked by the fact-checking web site Snopes, or had been pulled from sources just like the satirical web site World Each day Information Report or the pro-Trump misinformation web site True Pundit. The examine individuals then needed to consider whether or not or not the articles had been actual, how assured they felt of their evaluation, and whether or not they would share the article on social media.
“We wanted to see if there was an age difference in determining whether news is true versus false,” the examine’s lead writer Prof. Didem Pehlivanoglu advised the College of Florida’s
.”We particularly needed to take a look at this as a result of we all know that with ageing, most individuals present some decline of their cognitive talents. However we additionally know some data processing talents are preserved and even improved.”