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Cognitive Ability and Vulnerability to Fake News

02/17/18 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Link: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/cognitive-ability-and-vulnerability-to-fake-news/

Thus, even if a person was open-minded and tolerant, a low level of cognitive ability put them at risk for being unjustifiably harsh in their second evaluation of Nathalie.

One possible explanation for this finding is based on the theory that a person’s cognitive ability reflects how well they can regulate the contents of working memory—their “mental workspace” for processing information. First proposed by the cognitive psychologists Lynn Hasher and Rose Zacks, this theory holds that some people are more prone to “mental clutter” than other people. In other words, some people are less able to discard (or “inhibit”) information from their working memory that is no longer relevant to the task at hand—or, as in the case of Nathalie, information that has been discredited.

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