Impact of Including a Photo with a News Headline on Veracity Judgements for Fake News
thesisposted on 01.10.2021, 20:56 by Maxine Ewing
Fake News comes in many, pervasive forms, and has dominated the conversation around
important world events, including the 2016 and 2020 United States presidential election. In this
study, we explore how photos as a medium may be impacting how people are able to distinguish
real from fake news. Previous research has explored how elements such as news sources, traits
and characterizations of people, and system 1 and 2 processing affect how people discern fake
from real news. However, the question of how different types of media may be impacting how
people read news has yet to be explored. In the current study participants judged the veracity of
30 news article headlines, all of which actually circulated in the US around 2016 to more current
times. Inclusion of a photo did not significantly change how well participants discriminated fake
from real news, suggesting that people do not use photos as a cue for the believability of a story.
Further research is necessary to better understand how photos and other forms of media may
impact the believability of news.