So-called “fake news” can mess with your memory.
A new study found that voters with low cognitive ability are more likely to develop false memories when they read fake news stories.
Study participants were given six news reports, two of which were entirely fabricated about political figures on both sides of the issue doing something illegal or immoral.
The participants were then asked if they remembered those controversies.
Those who said yes were also asked to bring up specific memories.
Of those people, many recounted rich details about the fake stories regarding the political figure they personally opposed.
In addition, several refused to admit the stories in question were made up, even after it was revealed they were false.
The study found that participants were capable of forming false memories.
Additionally, those with lower cognitive scores were more likely to remember fake stories that reflected their biases.
Those who scored higher were more likely to question their personal biases and news sources.