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The voters would be in the form of false memories of fabricated stories, if those items are consistent with the existing political commitment, according to newly released results of a 2018 study period.
The researchers recruited 3,140 eligible to vote online and by asking them how they plan to vote for in the 2018 referendum for the legalization of abortion in the republic of Ireland. The voters were presented with six news articles, two of which were fictional stories, which are mapped to a campaign, on both sides of the issue, and that engaging in illegal or subversive behavior. After reading each story, participants were asked whether they had heard about the event in the story, and if they were, whether they had specific memories about it.
“In a very, very emotional, hyper-partisan political events such as the 2020 presidential election, the voters will be able to “remember” entirely fabricated stories,” said lead author Gillian Murphy, from the University College of Cork, in a press release. “In particular, they are likely to remember the scandals that reflect poorly on the candidate.”
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Almost half of the respondents reported data for at least one of the fabricated events, and many of them will be reminded of key details in a totally fabricated news story. According to the researchers, the people are in favor of the legalization of abortion, were more likely to remember to lie about the referendum, its opponents, while those against the legislation are more likely to remember a lie by the proponents.
The study also found that participants failed to maintain-their memories, even after learning that some of the information may be fictitious. And several participants told the details of the fake news stories are not.
“What this illustrates is the ease with which we’re able to plant completely fabricated memories, in spite of this, a voter, suspicious, and even in spite of an explicit warning, that they may have been shown fake news,” Murphy explained.
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The researchers ‘ findings have implications for the growing number of Big Tech backlash over the rampant spread of fake and false news and misinformation — especially when the 2020 elections will kick into high gear. President, He popularized the notion of ‘false news’ on the 2016 election, and has continued to make his label a lot of mainstream publications, as a way to discredit their reporting on him and his administration.
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“People act upon their false memories, and it is often difficult to convince them that the fake news is fake, a” memory researcher Elizabeth Loftus, of the University of California, Irvine, said in a statement. “With the growing possibility of the use of new, incredibly compelling, how are we going to get people to help you avoid being deceived? This is a problem for psychological scientists to be uniquely qualified to work with.”
The study has been publisehd in the journal Psychological Science.