Saturday, June 2, 2018

“Fake news” is a politicized term where conversations overshadowed logical & important discussions of the term; social media users from opposing political parties communicate in homophilous environments & use “fake news” to disparage the opposition & condemn real information

Read All About It: The Politicization of “Fake News” on Twitter. John Brummette et al. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Volume: 95 issue: 2, page(s): 497-517. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077699018769906

Abstract: Due to the importance of word choice in political discourse, this study explored the use of the term “fake news.” Using a social network analysis, content analysis, and cluster analysis, political characteristics of online networks that formed around discussions of “fake news” were examined. This study found that “fake news” is a politicized term where conversations overshadowed logical and important discussions of the term. Findings also revealed that social media users from opposing political parties communicate in homophilous environments and use “fake news” to disparage the opposition and condemn real information disseminated by the opposition party members.

Keywords: social network analysis, fake news, homophily, political communication

People selectively exhibit the bias, especially in those situations where it favors their current worldview as revealed by their political orientation: The same information was presented to all participants, but people developed the causal illusion bias selectively

Causal illusions in the service of political attitudes in Spain and the UK. Fernando Blanco, Braulio Gómez-Fortes and Helena Matute- Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01033

Abstract: The causal illusion is a cognitive bias that results in the perception of causality where there is no supporting evidence. We show that people selectively exhibit the bias, especially in those situations where it favors their current worldview as revealed by their political orientation. In our two experiments (one conducted in Spain and one conducted in the UK), participants who self-positioned themselves on the ideological left formed the illusion that a left-wing ruling party was more successful in improving city indicators than a right-wing party, while participants on the ideological right showed the opposite pattern. In sum, despite the fact that the same information was presented to all participants, people developed the causal illusion bias selectively, providing very different interpretations that aligned with their previous attitudes. This result occurs in situations where participants inspect the relationship between the government’s actions and positive outcomes (improving city indicators), but not when the outcomes are negative (worsening city indicators).

Keywords: cognitive bias, causal illusion, Ideology, Motivated reasoning, causality

Shame is an evolved adaptation that is designed to limit the likelihood and costs of others forming negative beliefs about the self, and increases with the publicity of an act perceived unfavorably by others, even if it was unimpeachable

The true trigger of shame: social devaluation is sufficient, wrongdoing is unnecessary. Theresa E. Robertson et al. Evolution and Human Behavior, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.05.010

Abstract: What is the trigger of shame? The information threat theory holds that shame is an evolved adaptation that is designed to limit the likelihood and costs of others forming negative beliefs about the self. By contrast, attributional theories posit that concerns over others' evaluations are irrelevant to shame. Instead, shame is triggered when a person attributes a negative outcome to their self, rather than to a particular act or circumstance. We conduct a strong test of the information threat hypothesis. In Study 1, participants imagined taking an action that, though morally unimpeachable, could be interpreted unfavorably by others. As predicted by the information threat theory, shame increased with the publicity of this act. In Study 2, participants played a public good game and then learned that the other participants either chose to keep interacting with them (inclusion) or not (exclusion)—ostensibly because of their contributions, but in fact randomly determined by the experimenter. Exclusion increased shame. Under-contribution did not. In fact, even the highest contributors tended to feel shame when excluded. These findings strongly suggest that the true trigger of shame is the prospect or actuality of being devalued by others.

Keywords: Shame; Emotion; Social exclusion

Why Humans Fail in Solving the Monty Hall Dilemma: There is less regret in losing by staying than in losing by switching

Saenen, L. et al. , (2018). Why Humans Fail in Solving the Monty Hall Dilemma: A Systematic Review. Psychologica Belgica. 58 ( 1 ), pp . 128–158. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb.274

Abstract: The Monty Hall dilemma (MHD) is a difficult brain teaser. We present a systematic review of literature published between January 2000 and February 2018 addressing why humans systematically fail to react optimally to the MHD or fail to understand it.

Based on a sequential analysis of the phases in the MHD, we first review causes in each of these phases that may prohibit humans to react optimally and to fully understand the problem. Next, we address the question whether humans’ performance, in terms of choice behaviour and (probability) understanding, can be improved. Finally, we discuss individual differences related to people’s suboptimal performance.

This review provides novel insights by means of its holistic approach of the MHD: At each phase, there are reasons to expect that people respond suboptimally. Given that the occurrence of only one cause is sufficient, it is not surprising that suboptimal responses are so widespread and people rarely understand the MHD.

Keywords: Systematic review,  Monty Hall dilemma,  probability,  choice,  decision