Falling for fake news: the role of political bias and cognitive ability

Edson C. Tandoc, James Lee, Matthew Chew, Fan Xi Tan, Zhang Hao Goh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Through a nationally representative survey involving 855 social media users in Singapore, this study proposes and tests a framework to explain why people believe in fake news. Guided by work on dual process models that theorize that individuals engage in either thorough or automatic processing, this study finds that both cognitive ability and political bias predict the extent to which individuals fall for fake news. While both exert direct effects on the extent to which individuals believe in fake news, they also exert indirect effects through how they lead individuals to different news consumption patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-253
Number of pages17
JournalAsian Journal of Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Singapore Ministry of Education Tier 1 Grant: [Grant Number RG 150/18]; Singapore Social Science Research Council: [Grant Number MOE2018-SSRTG-022].

Publisher Copyright:


  • Cognitive bias
  • disinformation
  • fake news
  • Singapore
  • social media
  • survey


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