BWL XI: Paper on Fake News Prevention at NeuroIS Retreat 2019
Title: Affective Information Processing of Fake News: Evidence from NeuroIS
Authors: Bernhard Lutz (University of Freiburg), Marc T. P. Adam (University of Newcastle), Stefan Feuerriegel (ETH Zurich), Nicolas Pröllochs, Dirk Neumann (University of Freiburg)
False information such as fake news threatens the credibility of social media and is widely believed to affect public opinion. So far, IS literature lacks a theoretical foundation on what leads humans to classify a news item as fake. In order to shed light on this question, we performed an experiment that involved 42 subjects with both eye tracking and heart rate measurements. We find that a lower heart rate variability and a higher relative number of eye fixations per second are associated with a higher probability of fake classification. Our study contributes to IS theory by providing evidence that the decision, if a news item is real or fake, is not purely cognitive, but also involves affective information processing. Thereby, it points towards novel strategies for identifying and preventing the spread of fake news in social media.