Event Title

Susceptibilty to Fake Headlines and Emotion Perception

Location

FA 202

Department

Psychology

Abstract

This research aims to identify a correlation between emotions and fake news. Fake news is “fabricated information that mimics news media content in form but not in organizational process or intent.” Fake news has been an issue lately especially since the COVID pandemic. People that are emotionally unstable tend to be more vulnerable to this type of news. For instance, people who have a negative emotion such as mad or sad tend to be more gullible. Fake news might have a greater effect on the audience who are not emotionally or mentally stable. This research will help identify if reading a fake news headline will have an effect on the reader's emotions. This research can be beneficial in helping understand how readers feel when determining whether news is fake or not. This research will be conducted via a Qualtrics Survey. Participants will be asked to rate their emotions (angry, happy, sad , disgusted, surprised and fear) before any exposure to news headlines. News headlines will be mixed between 8 fake and 8 real news headlines. Fake headlines have been chosen from a fact checking website, Snopes.com Participants will then read each headline and rate each emotion on a scale of 1 to 5. After all news headlines are read and have rated their emotions then participants will be presented with the headline once again and rate whether they believe the headline is real or fake. Participants will answer some demographic questions towards the end. Participants will also answer to explain how they would feel to find out that some headlines are fake and some are real. They will have a blank space to express themselves. We predict that there will be no difference in arousal of emotion with the presentation of true or fake news. We also believe that participants who are more angry or sad to begin with are more likely to fall into the trap of believing the fake news.

Faculty Sponsor

Linda Rueckert, Northeastern Illinois University

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May 6th, 12:00 PM

Susceptibilty to Fake Headlines and Emotion Perception

FA 202

This research aims to identify a correlation between emotions and fake news. Fake news is “fabricated information that mimics news media content in form but not in organizational process or intent.” Fake news has been an issue lately especially since the COVID pandemic. People that are emotionally unstable tend to be more vulnerable to this type of news. For instance, people who have a negative emotion such as mad or sad tend to be more gullible. Fake news might have a greater effect on the audience who are not emotionally or mentally stable. This research will help identify if reading a fake news headline will have an effect on the reader's emotions. This research can be beneficial in helping understand how readers feel when determining whether news is fake or not. This research will be conducted via a Qualtrics Survey. Participants will be asked to rate their emotions (angry, happy, sad , disgusted, surprised and fear) before any exposure to news headlines. News headlines will be mixed between 8 fake and 8 real news headlines. Fake headlines have been chosen from a fact checking website, Snopes.com Participants will then read each headline and rate each emotion on a scale of 1 to 5. After all news headlines are read and have rated their emotions then participants will be presented with the headline once again and rate whether they believe the headline is real or fake. Participants will answer some demographic questions towards the end. Participants will also answer to explain how they would feel to find out that some headlines are fake and some are real. They will have a blank space to express themselves. We predict that there will be no difference in arousal of emotion with the presentation of true or fake news. We also believe that participants who are more angry or sad to begin with are more likely to fall into the trap of believing the fake news.