From the past to the present, “false news” has been a hot topic. From the extensive coverage of the issue in the media to the establishment of a special investigation committee by the government, the determination to eliminate false news has been repeatedly demonstrated. But in fact, fake news has been banned repeatedly. Unable to agree on which is right, be a wild legend of novel coronavirus become fashionable for a time when the 370 Malaysia Airlines passenger plane lost its connection in 2014, and the various kinds of media information are flying in a flirting way. During the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the “fantastic 5G” and “new crown virus” were also popular, causing mass confusion and panic.
As soon as the fake news is released, it spreads rapidly. But why can such false news spread so fast? Why do people always like to watch fake news? This will start with the laws of human psychology. False news refers to “false and sensational information spread in the form of news report”, and its content is often inflammatory. It spreads in a viral way through people’s sharing behavior, causing great social harm. < / P > < p > in fact, it is human instinct to share news. In the information society, people get a sense of identity by exchanging valuable information and linking with others. Without sharing, social networks do not exist, because we form a whole through the continuous exchange of information. < / P > < p > some people’s sharing is a kind of altruistic behavior, and passing the news to the people in need will make them have a sense of dedication and have a sense of “I belong to a certain group”; some people are “conspicuous sharers” who use news as social currency to establish a group impression of being well informed. < p > < p > fake news often uses human’s sharing instinct to spread itself. On the one hand, the false news content catches people’s attention; on the other hand, some cognitive errors make it difficult for us to distinguish the truth from the false news. The conjunction fallacy makes us easily deceived by false news. The conjunction fallacy points out that if a false story is carefully compiled and detailed, we are more likely to believe false news. The more details a message contains, the more plausible it feels, even though it actually makes the possibility smaller rather than greater. < p > < p > for example, imagine a fictional lady named “Linda”. Linda is 31 years old, single and unmarried, straightforward, intelligent and majoring in philosophy. As a student, she paid special attention to gender discrimination and social justice, and actively participated in anti nuclear demonstrations. < / P > < p > the second one sounds more believable because its content is consistent with the background, making the whole story seem more coherent and full. Nevertheless, the probability of the first occurrence is higher. The reason is simple: the first case includes the second. In general, for any argument a, B and C, the probability that a is true is always greater than the probability that a, B and C are all true, because if a, B and C are all true, a must be true, otherwise it is not. < / P > < p > when two things can happen alone or in combination, the probability of two things happening together cannot be higher than that of any one thing. Everyone knows this simple truth, but when watching the news, people always instinctively think that things with more details have a higher incidence. In fact, the more specific things are, the less likely they are to happen. On the Internet, false stories are carefully made up and rich in details. Because it is full of details, it is easy to believe that such false news is true. The position of < / P > < p > can also affect our judgment of news. Slate did an experiment that showed readers pictures of real events and five randomly selected fake photos. It turns out that on average, each fake photo gives at least 15% of people false memories. Overall, nearly half of the participants believed that the events depicted in the fake photos did happen. Steven frenda, a California psychologist in Los Angeles, analyzed the experimental data and found that people are more likely to believe fake photos that are consistent with their political stance or world outlook, that is, fake news that conforms to your position is more likely to be believed. < / P > < p > the reason for this phenomenon is “confirmation bias”, which means that we will find and interpret information in a way that supports our own opinions. In this case, we may block some information and only believe information that conforms to our own opinion, even if the information is false. A few days ago, it was reported that trump had colluded with Russia to manipulate the US election. There are many statements, but there is no concrete evidence. Here is the performance of “confirmation bias”: < / P > < p > you will find that every time there is a new “disclosure” of trump ordinary Russia in the media, trump supporters and opponents will take this disclosure as evidence to support their views! Those who oppose trump say that this disclosure proves that trump is ordinary Russia; those who support trump say that there is no actual evidence here. If you take a thing without empirical evidence for trump, it just shows that trump is innocent! Some studies have further pointed out that when people are affected by confirmation errors and believe in false news, they will even distort their memory. In other words, people often turn their lies into part of their memories. < / P > < p > in 2018, a study by Brandeis University found that it took only 45 minutes for people to believe their lies. The study included 42 participants, half of whom were elderly (60-92 years old) and half millennials (18-24 years old). Everyone got a form with 102 questions about what they did the day before. < / P > < p > the researchers randomly selected half of the questions and asked the subjects to lie. After 45 minutes, the respondents answered the same questionnaire. This time, the researchers asked them to answer all the questions truthfully, but the results showed that “some lies change the memory, which creates new memories for things that didn’t actually happen.” Of course, older people are more likely to be misled by misinformation than young people. It seems that we are not only easily misled by false news on the Internet, but also provide us with false information. In other words, lying can also distort people’s memory. < / P > < p > as mentioned earlier, people are more willing to believe the fake news that demonstrates their own position, and that “the butt decides the head” is a kind of human nature! However, the next two experiments will tell you that even the position is not reliable! In 2005, several Swedish researchers came across an interesting psychological effect called “choice blindness”, which means that people often can’t remember their choices. < / P > < p > in the experiment, the researchers showed the subjects two pictures, and asked them to choose which one was more beautiful and attractive. After the subjects were selected, the researcher put two photos away and fiddled with them as if they were shuffling cards. Then they took out one of the photos and put them in front of the subjects and said, “can you explain to me why you think this person is more attractive?” The key to this experiment is that the one that the researcher came up with later was not the one selected by the subject, but the one he rejected and lost. But the result of the experiment is that most of the subjects didn’t find out. The “P > blindness effect” was verified several times later. For example, in a 2013 study, subjects were asked to choose several funds for investment, and then they immediately typed out these funds on the screen and said that they were your choice. Could you tell us why they chose these funds? More than 60% of the subjects did not find that a fund on the screen had been changed. The most interesting feature of the “blindness of choice” phenomenon is that people not only forget their own choices, but also can talk about the changed choice, saying why I chose this way – as if he had chosen it. < p > < p > < p > “selective blindness” reminds us that in the face of some views on public affairs, if it is not related to our own interests, in fact, our position is vacillating, and even many times, we do not remember our own position at all. What people insist on is the attitude of “adhering to the principle”, not the content of “principle” itself. In the face of the rush of news information, what people care most is not whether the news is true or not, or even whether the news conforms to the position, but whether they can win the debate. False news and fickle position make the network a disaster area of cognitive bias. In the era of “everyone can speak”, the Internet has become a hotbed of false news. On the one hand, the lack of “gatekeepers” on the Internet and the lack of editing and auditing of information have led to the massive amount of information, which makes it difficult to distinguish the true from the false. On the other hand, the rise of we media has made news production easier, and the speed of news transmission has also soared, which has caused the proliferation of fake news. < / P > < p > after the 2016 U.S. election, researchers from New York University and Princeton University tracked 1300 people and found that age may be the best indicator for judging people who share fake news. Among them, 11% of users over the age of 65 shared fake news links, while only 3% of users aged 18 to 29 shared fake news links. In terms of the number of fake news sharing, people over 65 are nearly seven times more than those aged 18 to 29. On the one hand, it is because the elderly lack the necessary digital media literacy to judge the authenticity of online news. More importantly, from the perspective of cognitive and social psychology, aging has a negative impact on cognition and memory. < p > < p > the theory holds that memory deteriorates with age, which makes it difficult for the elderly to resist the “virtual reality effect”, that is, when they repeatedly contact a certain type of information, they are willing to believe that the information is correct. When assessing the truth, they prefer to judge based on their familiarity rather than make rational analysis. Therefore, the more complex the information environment is, the more popular the false information is, the more serious the effect will be. < / P > < p > a lot of news uses numbers to prove their point of view. For example, one news report mentioned that the number of people who smoke in California has tripled every year for 35 years. There’s a problem with the numbers here. Suppose 35 years ago, there was only one person in California who smoked. The number tripled every year. After 35 years, it would exceed 17 billion. The reliability of the data can be verified by simple calculation. < / P > < p > at the same time, we need to be alert to the opinions of experts. Experts are generally right, but they can also make mistakes. Unfortunately, it’s easy to mistake experts for always being right because they are experts, highly respected and knowledgeable. This is especially true when trying new things in existing fields, where people tend to think that people who know more seem to speak more persuasively. < / P > < p > for example, physicist Gordon shozenti