People with higher emotional intelligence are at a lower risk of falling for false news, according to new research by the University of Strathclyde.
The findings appeared in PLOS One.
For the study, a group of participants was recruited to scour through news clips on social networking sites to establish its validity.
Researchers first assessed the participants’ level of emotional intelligence, then asked a series of questions on the validity of each news clip.
As the findings show, the participants who scored higher in the emotional intelligence tests were less likely to fall for false news stories.
“Using a sample of UK participants, an established measure of EQ and a novel fake news detection task, we report a significant positive relationship between individual differences in emotional intelligence and fake news detection ability. We also report a similar effect for higher levels of educational attainment, and we report some exploratory qualitative fake news judgement data,” the study reads.
“Our findings are discussed in terms of their applicability to practical short term (i.e. current Facebook user data) and medium term (i.e. emotional intelligence training) interventions which could enhance fake news detection.”
The study was authored by Stephanie Preston, Anthony Anderson, David Robertson, Mark Shephard, and Narisong Huhe.