The impact of personality in recognizing disinformation

The purpose of this paper is to investigate and quantify the effects of personality traits, as defined by the five-factor model on an individual’s ability to detect fake news

Colleen Wolverton; David Stevens

2019

Scholarcy highlights

  • Each of the five factors in the five-factor model demonstrated an effect on an individual’s ability to detect disinformation
  • The purpose of this paper is to investigate and quantify the effects of personality traits, as defined by the five-factor model on an individual’s ability to detect fake news
  • Survey respondents were given a collection of nine news stories, five of which were false and four that were true
  • Every single variable studied had at least a small effect size index, with one exception: gender, which had basically no effect
  • Each variable studied explained a portion of the variability in the number of correctly identified false news stories. This quantitative research demonstrates that individuals with the following personality traits are better able to identify disinformation: closed to experience or cautious, introverted, disagreeable or unsympathetic, unconscientious or undirected and emotionally stable
  • The results of this study enable corporations to determine which of their customers, investors and other stakeholders are most likely to be deceived by disinformation
  • They can better prepare for and combat the impacts of misinformation on their organization, and thereby avoid the negative financial impacts that result

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