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      Comparing beliefs in falsehoods based on satiric and non-satiric news

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          Abstract

          This article seeks to quantify the extent to which Americans hold beliefs that are consistent with interpreting satiric news literally, and to assess whether factors known to promote misperceptions work differently depending on whether the source of the misperception is satire. We also test the robustness of those factors across a diverse set of real-world falsehoods. The study uses secondary data analysis, relying on data drawn from a 12-wave six-month panel conducted in 2019. Analyses focus on participants’ beliefs about 120 falsehoods derived from high-profile political content in circulation before each survey wave, including 48 based on satiric news. A non-trivial number of participants believed claims originating in satire, but it is less than the proportion who believed falsehoods derived from other misleading content. Results also confirm the robustness of established predictors of misperceptions while demonstrating that the associations differ in magnitude between satiric and non-satiric news.

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          Most cited references42

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          The spread of true and false news online

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            Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election

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              Motivated Skepticism in the Evaluation of Political Beliefs

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: ValidationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: Funding acquisitionRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: ValidationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: Funding acquisitionRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: SupervisionRole: ValidationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS One
                plos
                PLOS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                19 January 2023
                2023
                : 18
                : 1
                : e0278639
                Affiliations
                [001] School of Communication, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States of America
                University of Padova: Universita degli Studi di Padova, ITALY
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7680-0253
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5026-2186
                https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7022-7452
                Article
                PONE-D-22-21288
                10.1371/journal.pone.0278639
                9851529
                36656828
                535183d7-1307-4918-8264-cde42dc5ddd7
                © 2023 Poulsen et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                History
                : 28 July 2022
                : 19 November 2022
                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 6, Pages: 18
                Funding
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100005801, Facebook;
                Award ID: 2152762478373490
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100005801, Facebook;
                Award ID: 2152762478373490
                Award Recipient :
                R.K.G., & R.M.B. Grant/submission ID no. 2152762478373490 Facebook Integrity Foundational Research Award https://research.facebook.com/research-awards/foundational-integrity-research-misinformation-and-polarization-request-for-proposals/ The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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