Fact-Checking Research Database

We collect (and briefly explain) major studies on fact-checking, fake news and misinformation

Research Study

Rumor Has It: The Adoption of Unverified Information in Conflict Zones

Kelly M. Greenhill, Ben Oppenheim
Our Summary

How likely you are to believe a rumor has nothing to do with your demographics

The article’s findings are based on survey data collected from two insurgency-affected areas: southern Thailand and Mindanao, Philippines. The more respondents felt in danger, were repeatedly exposed to a rumor and/or saw one that coincided with their preconceived beliefs, the more likely they were to believe it. That goes against widely held notions that psychology is the end-all, be-all when it comes to whether or not someone believes unverified information. The study contains an interesting precaution for those working on dispelling rumors and misinformation around the world.

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