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Scientists Discover Simple Psychological Tools to Battle Fake News

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  • A link between conspiracy theories and childhood fantasies reveals coping strategies.
  • Related: Our challenge really is against the stupidity and cognitive dissonance that rules us today.

Peter Hess, Inverse

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August 13, 2018 | We don’t usually think of fake news and conspiracy theories as children’s problems, but new research suggests that childhood fantasy might pave the way for people to buy into false narratives in adulthood. Knowing this, the researchers tell Inverse, sheds light on the ways we can protect adults from falling prey to these narratives, especially as fake news becomes increasingly hard to avoid.

Fantasy realms and make-believe are thought to make kids feel less vulnerable by giving them a sense of control or order in a chaotic world. Believing in conspiracy theories and fake news later in life has largely the same effect: These ideas give a sense of order to a world in which things don’t often fit with how we think the world should be.

https://fsmedia.imgix.net/assets/user/2x1/216-peter-hess.jpg?auto=format%2Ccompress&w=650 Peter Hess is a writer living in New York. He is preoccupied with Star Wars and memes, but he writes about climate change, chatbots and ants. You may have seen his work in Popular Science, New Scientist and Motherboard.

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Related:

Our challenge really is against the stupidity and cognitive dissonance that rules us today. Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Part 1: Vandana Shiva, physicist and thinker: our challenge really is against the stupidity that rules us today
  • "We are not atomized producers and consumers, we are part of an earth community, we are part of a human community…"
  • Part 2: The Entire Western World Lives In Cognitive Dissonance
  • The Western mind … (is) so full of propagandistic nonsense that there is no connection to reality.

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Help enlighten others. Be sure to pass this on to friends and kin. We must break the system's  ability to lie with impunity.