TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The rapid development of technology and internet in general has made it easily accessible for anyone to search for information, ranging from the factual ones up to downright disinformation and hoaxes.
Unfortunately, not everyone is literate enough to differentiate between false and accurate information which makes them often be victims of hoaxes and contribute in spreading it to a broader audience.
Citing Antaranews, according to Jakarta’s Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital (RSCM) psychiatrist, dr. Gina Anindyajati, Sp.KJ, there are at least three factors that make people easily influenced by hoaxes.
The first reason is people’s tendency to deny a situation they are facing and believe anything that goes against the actual fact. “If a person had just endured a loss, then they would tend to deny it. Especially if that forces them to change and get out of their comfort zone,” she said.
Secondly, she believes there is a psychological tendency for a person to easily trust a conspiracy theory. The third reason is due to subjective ideological or political attachments and the urge to spread it even further.
“People tend to spread fake news because they are sure that the information is correct, 30 percent believe that information they forward is true. Moreover, people also might consider a certain fake news as part of themselves and are urged to spread it,” Gina explained.
Interestingly, she also mentioned the link between humans and cognitive laziness which prevents people from fact checking before forwarding a piece of information.