Pennycook: Timing Matters When Correcting Fake News

Peace Prize winner Gordon Pennycook and colleagues did an experiment about how to disrupt the workings of genuinely faked news. They published a study about what they learned:

Timing Matters When Correcting Fake News,” Nadia M. Brashier, Gordon Pennycook, Adam J. Berinsky, and David G. Rand, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 118, no. 5, February 2, 2021, e2020043118.

The study explains: “Countering misinformation can reduce belief in the moment, but corrective messages quickly fade from memory. We tested whether the longer-term impact of fact-checks depends on when people receive them…. Providing fact-checks after headlines (debunking) improved subsequent truth discernment more than providing the same information during (labeling) or before (prebunking) exposure.”

Co-author Nadia Brashier says “Is there an optimal time to correct fake news? Yes! And it’s surprising. In a new paper in PNAS, we show that providing fact-checks *after* people read headlines is more effective than supplying the same information before or during exposure.”

Peace Prize Winner Pennycook

The 2016 Ig Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Gordon Pennycook, James Allan Cheyne, Nathaniel Barr, Derek Koehler, and Jonathan Fugelsang for their scholarly study called “On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit”.

The full citation for that study: “On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit,” Gordon Pennycook, James Allan Cheyne, Nathaniel Barr, Derek J. Koehler, and Jonathan A. Fugelsang, Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 10, No. 6, November 2015, pp. 549–563.

Liars, Savored

That 2016 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony also presented the year’s prize in psychology to Evelyne Debey, Maarten De Schryver, Gordon Logan, Kristina Suchotzki, and Bruno Verschuere, for asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers.

REFERENCE: “From Junior to Senior Pinocchio: A Cross-Sectional Lifespan Investigation of Deception,” Evelyne Debey, Maarten De Schryver, Gordon D. Logan, Kristina Suchotzki, and Bruno Verschuere, Acta Psychologica, vol. 160, 2015, pp. 58-68.