False News, Judgement Accuracy, and Information Construal
On September 1, 2019, Mariela E. Jaffé, Marc-Andre Reinhard, Karl Ask and Rainer Greifeneder have published an article entitled “Truth or Tale? How Construal Level and Judgment Mode Affect Confidence and Accuracy in Deception Detection” in Open Psychology.
A Blog Post by Pablo Markin.
In their research, Mariela E. Jaffé, Marc-Andre Reinhard, Karl Ask and Rainer Greifeneder have concentrated on the interrelations between the discernment of “truths from lies, and [..] confidence in judged veracity” (12), in contrast to the objective accuracy of these judgements. As these authors note, increasingly “individuals are confronted with news, opinions, and accounts via numerous media and communication channels […] [in relation to which they] need to be able to tell the difference between true and false messages” (12). To explore the link between the objective accuracy and individual-level confidence, Jaffé et al. also focus on the “construal level as a function of psychological distance (Trope & Liberman, 2010)” (13).
As past theoretical literature reviewed in this paper indicates, “construing on a high level [likely] leads to more verbal thought, while thinking on a low level leads to more pictorial representations (Amit, Algom, & Trope, 2009; Rim et al., 2015). Following Yan, Sengupta, and Hong (2016), this is presumably because individuals tend to rely more on visual processing when construing proximal events (low level mindset), but more on verbal processing when construing distant events (high level mindset)” (40). In this experimental study, its authors have assumed that “the impact of construal level on deception detection depends on when individuals learn about the possibility of deception and therefore how they have to form their judgments” (15). This study has involved 161 Swiss university students as research participants.
According to the findings of this study, no “effect of construal level or judgment mode on the detection of deception” (21) exists. This research has, thus, failed to support the assumption that “construal level would influence truth/lie detection accuracy for online judgments, and that low [construal] level participants would outperform high level participants for offline judgments” (21). Nevertheless, Jaffé and colleagues have “found that judgment mode significantly impacted confidence ratings. Participants who learned about potential lies upfront and could form an online judgment were more confident in their ratings” (21).
By Pablo Markin
Featured Image Credits: Fake News, November 23, 2018 | © Courtesy of l a n g g i/Flickr.