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Universitas-XXI, Revista de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas

versión On-line ISSN 1390-8634versión impresa ISSN 1390-3837


CASTILLO-RIQUELME, Víctor; HERMOSILLA-URREA, Patricio; POBLETE-TIZNADO, Juan P.  y  DURAN-ANABALON, Christian. Fake news and unfunded beliefs in the post-truth age. Universitas [online]. 2021, n.34, pp.87-108. ISSN 1390-8634.

The dissemination of fake news embodies a pressing problem for democracy that is exacerbated by the ubiquity of information available on the Internet and by the exploitation of those who, appealing to the emotionality of audiences, have capitalized on the injection of falsehoods into the social fabric. In this study, through a cross-sectional, correlational and non-experimental design, the relationship between credibility in the face of fake news and some types of dysfunctional thoughts was explored in a sample of Chilean university students. The results reveal that greater credibility in fake news is associated with higher scores of magical, esoteric and naively optimistic thinking, beliefs that would be the meeting point for a series of cognitive biases that operate in the processing of information. The highest correlation is found with the paranormal beliefs facet and, particularly, with ideas about the laws of mental attraction, telepathy and clairvoyance. Significant differences were also found in credibility in fake news as a function of the gender of the participants, with the female gender scoring higher on average than the male gender. These findings highlight the need to promote critical thinking, skepticism and scientific attitude in all segments of society.

Palabras clave : Mass communication; Communication psychology; democracy; ethics of the press; information dissemination; critical thinking..

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