Reduced Analytic and Actively Open-Minded Thinking Help to Explain the Link between Belief in Fake News and Delusionality, Dogmatism, and Religious Fundamentalism

66 Pages Posted: 17 May 2018  

Michael Bronstein

Yale University

Gordon Pennycook

Yale University

Adam Bear

Yale University

David G. Rand

Yale University

Tyrone Cannon

Yale University

Date Written: May 3, 2018

Abstract

Delusion-prone individuals may be more likely to accept even delusion-irrelevant implausible ideas because of their tendency to engage in less analytic and actively open-minded thinking. Consistent with this suggestion, two online studies with over 1000 participants demonstrated that delusion-prone individuals display an increased belief in fake news, which often features implausible content, and that this increase was partially explained by cognitive style. Exploratory analyses showed that dogmatic individuals and religious fundamentalists were also more likely to believe fake news, and that these relationships were fully explained by cognitive style. Our findings suggest that existing interventions on analytic and actively open-minded thinking might be leveraged to help prevent the deleterious effects of belief in fake news.

Keywords: fake news, dogmatism, dual-process theory, religious fundamentalism, actively open-minded thinking, delusion-proneness

Suggested Citation

Bronstein, Michael and Pennycook, Gordon and Bear, Adam and Rand, David G. and Cannon, Tyrone, Reduced Analytic and Actively Open-Minded Thinking Help to Explain the Link between Belief in Fake News and Delusionality, Dogmatism, and Religious Fundamentalism (May 3, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3172140 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3172140

Michael Bronstein (Contact Author)

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Gordon Pennycook

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Adam Bear

Yale University ( email )

2 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

HOME PAGE: http://campuspress.yale.edu/adambear/

David G. Rand

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.DaveRand.org

Tyrone Cannon

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

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