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According to science, dealing with the gut isn't always the best solution

According to science, dealing with the gut isn’t always the best solution

– Gus Flair /

“Trust your instincts,” many of us have heard this advice somewhere. The researchers were interested in this, especially to fight the spread of misinformation about Covid-19 as much as possible. What relationship could be between instinct or intuition and the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, you might ask? You will discover it immediately.

Analytical thinking takes a conscious effort to question the information you read

The New study It reveals that analytical thinking can significantly prevent and combat the spread of misinformation. It has nothing to do with the mind but with the conscious effort not to make a decision right away or in a hurry.

Matthew Norse, a social sciences researcher at the Australian National University (ANU) who is leading the study, said: Addiction to intuition could be at least partially responsible for the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus “. And therefore , ” Encouraging people to think twice before sharing can also slow the spread of false claims ».

For researchers, analytical thinking skills help people see that misinformation is inaccurate, misleading, and harmful. The researchers write in their article published in memory and cognition qu ‘« A better understanding of these beliefs about Covid-19 is important because people who believe misinformation about Covid-19 are less likely to follow public health advice designed to mitigate the spread of this disease. ».

However, it will not be easy to apply analytical thinking. It is slow and deliberate and uses our working memory to critically evaluate information. Researchers know that ignoring intuitive thinking takes some effort. according to Nadia Nafie, a researcher in digital media at the University of Laval, people can” Clinging to simplistic explanations instead of deciphering complex information in a chaotic environment ».

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Analytical thinkers are less likely to fall into the web of misinformation

As part of their study, the researchers provided ten statements to the volunteers. The first five statements are debunked claims about the origins of Covid-19 or vaccines. The other five are public health messages about how to limit the spread of Covid-19 and protect people at risk.

People with superior analytical skills, as measured by a standard cognitive reversal test, were less likely to view exposed Covid-19 claims as accurate or worth sharing. They were also able to discern true statements about Covid-19 better than people who gave intuitive but wrong answers.

Thus, the researchers concluded that Analytical thinking plays an important role “. from now on, ” Scientific communication should make people think about the claims they have heard about Covid-19 and not just instinctively “,” reports Science alert.