People with high levels of emotional intelligence are less likely to be susceptible to ‘fake news’, a new study suggests.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, indicates that those who identified the types of news correctly were most likely to score highly in the EQ tests.
“Fake news on social media is now a matter of considerable public and governmental concern,” said researcher Tony Anderson from the University of Strathclyde in the UK.
“Research on dealing with this issue is still in its infancy but recent studies have started to focus on the psychological factors which might make some individuals less susceptible to fake news,” Anderson added.
For the study, the research team invited nearly 100 participants to read a series of news items on social media and to ascertain whether they were real or fictitious, briefly describing the reasons for their answers.
They were also asked to complete a test to determine their levels of emotional intelligence (EQ or emotional quotient) and were asked a number of questions when considering the veracity of each news item.
Participants were presented with real and fabricated news stories on issues including health, crime, wealth inequality and the environment.
Fictitious items featured aspects including emotive language, brief information and a lack of attributed sources.