The Spread of Fake News in Turkey: Predictors of Fake News Questioning and Sharing

Bayrak, Fatih
Çoksan, Sami
Akarsu, Albina Sıla
Sezer, Bengisu
Sayılan, Gülden
The phenomena that have emerged with a dramatic increase in the speed of technologicaldevelopment have affected many aspects of social and political life. One of these facts is theextraordinary growth in the amount and access to information. However, this informationmay not always reflect reality in life. With the development of technology, especially insocial media, it has become easier to spread fake information. In the literature, fake news hasbeen mostly studied in the media field. However, it is crucial to address the spread of fakenews with a social psychological point of view. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to examinethe relation between fake news and social-psychological variables. We archived real socialmedia (facebook and twitter) posts and measured various psychological characteristics ofparticipants during the 31 March 2019 local elections of Turkey. Additionally, we developedthe Fake News Questioning Scale to measure the tendency of questioning whether news onsocial media is fake or not and examine its relations with thinking styles, party affiliations,identification with ethnicity, social dominance orientation, right-wing authoritarianism,conspiracy beliefs, and intergroup threat. As a result, we found that intuitive and analyticalthinking styles predict the questioning of news, but social dominance orientation, right-wingauthoritarianism and conspiracy beliefs did not. We discussed the motivations behind thetendency to questioning and sharing fake news from a social psychological perspective.
Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology


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Citation Formats
F. Bayrak, S. Çoksan, A. S. Akarsu, B. Sezer, and G. Sayılan, “The Spread of Fake News in Turkey: Predictors of Fake News Questioning and Sharing,” presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, 2020, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: