An intriguing new study released last week in Psychological Science in the Public Interest reveals why people are more apt to believe false information being fed to them by the media and politicians.
According to the team of psychological scientists working on the study, led by Stephan Lewandowsky of the University of Western Australia, the main reason that people are more likely to believe false information (for example, that climate change is a hoax) is because it actually takes less brain power to believe a statement is false than to accept it as truth. Finding the truth takes time and effort that people often don’t care enough to spend on particular issues that aren’t of immediate concern.
A few excerpts from the report:
A lack of reliable scientific information about what happens when crude oil is spilled into rivers or the ocean and a fragmented system of response plans is...