New article at the European Journal of Information Systems

28 Jun 2023

New article on "Affective Information Processing of Fake News: Evidence from NeuroIS" published by EJIS.

© Joshua Miranda via pexels

The European Journal of Information Systems (EJIS) has published an article about Affective Information Processing of Fake News: Evidence from NeuroIS which has been co-authored by Prof. Stefan Feuerriegel from the Institute of AI in Management at LMU Munich.

Abstract: Fake news undermines individuals’ ability to make informed decisions. However, the theoretical understanding of how users assess online news as real or fake has thus far remained incomplete. In particular, previous research cannot explain why users fall for fake news inadvertently and despite careful thinking. In this work, we study the role of affect when users assess online news as real or fake. We employ NeuroIS measurements as a complementary approach beyond self-reports, which allows us to capture affective responses in situ, i.e., directly in the moment they occur. We draw upon cognitive dissonance theory, which suggests that users experiencing affective responses avoid unpleasant information to reduce psychological discomfort. In our NeuroIS experiment, we measured affective responses based on electrocardiography and eye tracking. We find that lower heart rate variability and shorter mean fixation duration are associated with greater perceived fakeness and a higher probability of incorrect assessments, thus providing evidence of affective information processing. These findings imply that users may fall for fake news automatically and without even noticing. This has direct implications for information systems (IS) research and practice as effective countermeasures against fake news must account for affective information processing.