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Faragó, Laura, Péter Krekó, and Gábor Orosz. “Hungarian, lazy, and biased: the role of analytic thinking and partisanship in fake news discernment on a Hungarian representative sample.” Scientific Reports 13, no. 1 (2023): 178.


“Why do people believe blatantly inaccurate news headlines? Do we use our reasoning abilities to convince ourselves that statements that align with our ideology are true, or does reasoning allow us to effectively differentiate fake from real regardless of political ideology?” These were the questions of Pennycook and Rand (2019), and they are more than actual three years later in Eastern Europe (especially in Hungary) in the light of the rise of populism, and the ongoing war in Ukraine – with the flood of disinformation that follows. In this study, using a representative Hungarian sample (N = 991) we wanted to answer the same questions—moving one step forward and investigating alternative models. We aimed to extend the original research with the examination of digital literacy and source salience on media truth discernment. Most of the observations of Pennycook and Rand were confirmed: people with higher analytic thinking were better at discerning disinformation. However, the results are in line with the synergistic integrative model as partisanship interacted with cognitive reflection: anti-government voters used their analytic capacities to question both concordant and discordant fake news more than pro-government voters. Furthermore, digital literacy increased detection, but source salience did not matter when perceiving disinformation.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.