Trust in Online Information

Social media has become the meduim of choice for daily news consumption with over 2/3 audlts in the United States. However, people's trust in social media inforamtion is lower than their trust in traditional outlets. This project integrates advances in data science and key findings from psychological research to improve the prediction of trust in information on social media by modeling the psychological phenomenon known as the memory illusion. The memory illusion refers to memory errors that people make to remember information as an outcome of interpreting and making inferences from their past experience. This project will use social media data to examine the memory illusion with online information, and to understand how it is associated with people's trust in information on social media. Better understanding on the extent and impact of the memory illusion phenomenon using big data will inform machine-learning approaches to better measure trust in information with an additional human information-processing perspective, benefiting society by providing reliable online information, and increasing people's overall trust in information on social media.

This project is being supported by Penn State SSRI seed grant and NSF EAGER SaTC grant.