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Americans share fake news to fit in with social circles

  • Journalism and Facts
  • Social Media and Internet
  • Politics

Fear of exclusion contributes to spread of fake news, research finds

Read the journal article

  • Tribalism and Tribulations (PDF, 495KB)

WASHINGTON — Both conservative and liberal Americans share fake news because they don’t want to be ostracized from their social circles, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

“Conformity and social pressure are key motivators of the spread of fake news,” said lead researcher Matthew Asher Lawson, PhD, an assistant professor of decision sciences at INSEAD, a business school in France. “If someone in your online tribe is sharing fake news, then you feel pressure to share it as well, even if you don’t know whether it’s false or true.”

The research was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

The proliferation of fake news contributes to increasing political polarization and distrust of democratic institutions, according to the Brookings Institution. But fake news doesn’t always proliferate due to dark motives or a call for action. The researchers began studying the issue after noticing people in their own social networks sharing fake news seemingly without malicious intent or ideological purpose.

“Political ideology alone doesn’t explain people’s tendency to share fake news within their social groups,” Lawson said. “There are many factors at play, including the very basic desire to fit in and not to be excluded.”

One experiment analyzed the tweets and political ideology of more than 50,000 pairs of Twitter users in the U.S., including tweets sharing fake or hyper-partisan news between August and December 2020. (Political ideology was determined through a network-based algorithm that imputes ideology by looking at the types of accounts Twitter users follow.) The number of tweets between pairs of Twitter users in the same social circles were measured. Twitter users were less likely to interact with each other over time if one of them shared a fake news story and the other did not share that same story. The same effect was found regardless of political ideology but was stronger for more right-leaning participants.

A second experiment analyzed 10,000 Twitter users who had shared fake news in the prior test, along with another group that was representative of Twitter users in general. Twitter users who had shared fake news were more likely to exclude other users who didn’t share the same content, suggesting that social pressures may be particularly acute in the fake news ecosystem.

Across several additional online experiments, participants indicated a reduced desire to interact with social connections who failed to share the same fake news. Participants who were more concerned about the social costs of not fitting in were also more likely to share fake news.

While fake news may seem prolific, prior research has found that fake news only accounts for 0.15% of Americans’ daily media consumption, and 1% of individuals are responsible for 80% of fake news sharing. Other research found that election-related misinformation on Twitter decreased by 73% after Donald Trump was banned from the platform.

Many complex factors contribute to people’s decisions to share fake news so reducing its spread is difficult, and the role of social media companies isn’t always clear, Lawson said.

“Pre-bunking” methods that inform people about the ways that misinformation spreads and highlighting the importance of the accuracy of news can help reduce the spread of fake news. However, finding ways to ease the social pressure to conform in online spaces may be needed to start winning the war on misinformation, Lawson said.

Article: “Tribalism and Tribulations: The Social Costs of Not Sharing Fake News,” Matthew Asher Lawson, PhD, INSEAD, Shikhar Anand, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, and Hemant Kakkar, PhD, Duke University, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, published online March 9, 2023.

As far as naturalists are concerned, the great value of wildflowers is in perpetuating the species, in contributing their very presence to the environment in which they play an integral part, though their particular function may not be well understood, even by botanists. Where certain habitats have been disturbed by the construction of dams or human habitations or by the cultivation of land farms and forestry, some flowers have declined in numbers. Occasionally becoming endangered species or even extinct altogether. It is important, therefore, for amateur naturalists to leave such plants where they are, rather than to pick them or attempt to transplant them to their own gardens. Some wildflowers make lovely garden plants and are easy to grow-daisies, violets and buttercups are especially popular and are not all endangered in the wild – and a pretty wildflower garden can turn any backyard into a showplace. But it is always best to purchase the seeds from a commercial nursery or seed Catalog Company rather than try to collect flowers from nature. It is not always easy to reproduce growing conditions in which the plant will feel at home, and it would be a shame to risk the loss of a wildflower in this experimental way.

Popular pastimes for flower lovers in the days before wildflower were considered a natural treasure was to collect and press them. Some enthusiasts would fill entire albums or create handsome dried collages or arrangements, and even today such objects are admired for their beauty. But again, because of the rarity of some flowers and the simple fact that living flowers are always more beautiful than dead ones, collecting them is not recommended. The best ways to bring wildflowers home are through your own photographs or by sketching or painting them on the spot and then displaying your artwork

The Integrative Buddhist Psychology to reduce the Violence Problem in Family in Suratthani Province

Authors

Abstract

This objectives of this research were: 1) to study and analyze the problems of family violence in Suratthani Province 2) to study and analyze the using Buddhist principles and Rogers’s counseling psychological discipline for integration to reduce the problem of family violence in Suratthani province. This research was conducted in the areas of Suratthani province using qualitative research methodology. The data were collected from 24 informants who were heads of family, never used violence in family using the In-depth-interview and from 9 participants using focus group discussion. Both data were analyzed and synthesized according to research’s objectives.

The results of this research found that

  1. the problems of family violence in Suratthani Province found that they were in 13 Districts, the kinds of family violence consisted of 1) body (hurt, died) 71.1 % 2) gender (rape, immoral conduct, gangbang) 13.1 % 3) mind (detain, look down, revile) 10.2 % ��� 4) other (neglect, abandon) 5.6 %, the causes of the problem of family violence in Suratthani province consisting of 1) infidelity 2) jealousness 3) drinking alcohol 4) Drug example amphetamine 5) economic problem and being out of work 6) body and mental health problem 7) borrowing money 8) restive habit 9) gamester. The violence in family that happened in Suratthani province affected to close person and society directly and indirectly, that is, 1) economic effect 2) social effect and 3) public health effect. To prevent and to solve the violence problem family in Surat thani province in past were done by itself family and by government sector that had responsibility about that problem directly.
  2. to use the Buddhist principles and Rogers’s counseling psychological discipline for integration to reduce problem of violence family in Suratthani found that the Buddhist principles for solving violence family in Suratthani province consisting of the Tree Admonitions or Exhortations of the Buddha or Buddha-ovada, the Noble Eightfold Path, four Brahmavihàra, four Gharavasa-dhamma, four Sangahavatthu and the Four Noble truths, but principles of counseling psychology according to Karl Roger’s concept for solving a violence in family in Surat thani Province consisted of three important basic concepts, that is, 1) to understand of human nature 2) to develop for balance of self and 3) true love of person who was a leader of family which generate from good relation between them. In using of Buddhist principles and Roger’s principle of counseling psychology, the person who was family leader had to persist in and follow in 2 principles, especially the use of logic and not to use of emotion, to be good modeling for family’s member and to give a time in doing various activities together with family and to counsel always when family’s member got various problems.