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Most Americans think they can spot fake news. They can't, study finds
The study of surveys involving 8,200 people, which published in in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also showed Republicans are more likely to fall for fake news than Democrats are.
The team, led by Ben Lyons, a professor of communications at the University of Utah, showed study volunteers headlines presented in the format of how news articles would look if they appeared in a Facebook feed. They were also asked to rate their ability to determine whether stories were true.
"We show that overconfident individuals are more likely to visit untrustworthy websites in behavioral data; to fail to successfully distinguish between true and false claims about current events in survey questions; and to report greater willingness to like or share false content on social media, especially when it is politically congenial," the team wrote.
"In all, these results paint a worrying picture: The individuals who are least equipped to identify false news content are also the least aware of their own limitations and, therefore, more susceptible to believing it and spreading it further," they added.