Fake News and False Memory Formation in the Psychology Debate

34 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2022

See all articles by Candela Sofía León

Candela Sofía León

Instituto Tecnologico de Buenos Aires (ITBA)

Matías Bonilla

Instituto Tecnologico de Buenos Aires (ITBA)

Luis I. Brusco

CENECON, Centro de Neuropsiquiatría y Neurología de la Conducta (CENECON),

Cecilia Forcato

Instituto Tecnologico de Buenos Aires (ITBA)

Facundo A. Urreta Benítez

Instituto Tecnologico de Buenos Aires (ITBA)

Abstract

The dissemination of fake news causes global concern. Evidence indicates that fake news can generate memory distortions and influence people's behavior. Within the framework of the great debates, the tendency to generate false memories from fake news seems to be modulated by the ideological alignment. This effect has been observed mainly around issues involving large sectors of society, but little is known about its impact on smaller-scale discussions focused on more specific populations. In this work we examine the formation of false memories from fake news in the framework of the debate between psychological currents in Argentina. For this N = 326 individuals aligned to psychoanalysis (PSA) or Evidence-Based Practices (EBP), observed a series of news (12 true and 8 fabricated). The participants ideologically aligned with the EBP remembered or believed more fake news that damaged PSA, and more true news referring to any current. Additionally, the same group remembered with greater precision the statements of the news that harmed their own school, than those referring to others. These results could be understood as the product of an imbalance in the commitment between the different parties involved in the debate, since the group that proposes the paradigm shift (EBP) exhibited a congruence effect, and a greater general knowledge, while the group whose orientation is hegemonic in this field (PSA) did not show any effect of ideological alignment and showed less knowledge about the discussion. The fact that the congruence effect is manifested to a certain extent even within small-scale debates, and in settings as relevant as that related to mental health, highlights the need to move towards more careful practices in the consumption and production of information media.

Note:

Funding Information: This work was supported by AGENCIA PICT Serie A N°02666 to CF.

Declaration of Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Ethics Approval Statement: Prior to their participation, participants read and agreed to the informed consent approved by the Alberto Taquini Biomedical Research Ethics Committee.

Keywords: ENCODING, CONSOLIDATION, CONGRUENCE EFFECT, CHRONOTYPE, DISCLAIMER

Suggested Citation

León, Candela Sofía and Bonilla, Matías and Brusco, Luis I. and Forcato, Cecilia and Urreta Benítez, Facundo A., Fake News and False Memory Formation in the Psychology Debate. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4184128 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4184128

Candela Sofía León (Contact Author)

Instituto Tecnologico de Buenos Aires (ITBA) ( email )

Matías Bonilla

Instituto Tecnologico de Buenos Aires (ITBA) ( email )

Luis I. Brusco

CENECON, Centro de Neuropsiquiatría y Neurología de la Conducta (CENECON), ( email )

Cecilia Forcato

Instituto Tecnologico de Buenos Aires (ITBA) ( email )

Facundo A. Urreta Benítez

Instituto Tecnologico de Buenos Aires (ITBA) ( email )

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