It's our tendency to believe false information to be correct after repeated exposure to it.
The illusory truth effect is the reason why advertising and propaganda works.
The typical explanation is that our brains take shortcuts to save energy:
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. ”
Fake news includes:
There is so much skewed news, that we have a difficult time trying to figure out what to pay attention to and what to disregard. We also sometimes lack the expertise to assess accuracy.
The trickle of information pollution, like air pollution, builds up over time. The more we are exposed to it, the more likely we are to pick up false beliefs that are hard to get rid of.
People that spread propaganda rely on repetition to change the beliefs and values of other people.
Propaganda can be used to improve public health or boost patriotism. But it can also be used to undermine political processes.
It has four distinct features:
Firehouse propaganda can include internet users who are paid to repeatedly post in forums and comment sections on social media disputing legitimate information and spreading misinformation. It pushes us towards feelings like paranoia, mistrust, and suspicion.
Information we consume is like the food we eat. If it's junk, our thinking will show that.
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