Study: Voters can form false memories after seeing fake news stories (like the ‘very fine people’ hoax)

Try it you will like it

This study actually comes out of Ireland and was done in connection with the country’s abortion referendum, but PsychCentral has picked it up to see if it applies equally to U.S. politics.

Janice Wood reports:

The research was conducted in the week before the 2018 referendum on legalizing abortion in Ireland, but researchers suggest that fake news is likely to have similar effects in other political contexts, including the U.S. presidential race in 2020.

“In highly emotional, partisan political contests, such as the 2020 U.S. presidential election, voters may ‘remember’ entirely fabricated news stories,” said lead author Gillian Murphy of University College Cork. “In particular, they are likely to ‘remember’ scandals that reflect poorly on the opposing candidate.”

Scott Adams, who’s long been trying to debunk the “Charlotteville hoax” in which President Trump called neo-Nazis “very fine people,” thinks this is the perfect example.

And then there’s the news that’s just plain wrong, such as Lawrence O’Donnell’s big Deutsche Bank scoop or Ken Delanian’s tweets about American service members’ kids being born overseas not being American citizens.

How many times would we have to play the video of Trump condemning the neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville before people would stop using the “very fine people” line?


Related: