Young People Don’t Trust Twitter As Much As You Think [STUDY]

Young People Don't Trust Twitter As Much As You Think [STUDY]
A new study suggests that young people aren’t as susceptible to believing everything they see on Twitter as you might think.

As Pacific Standard reports, in a small study at Michigan State University, a research team led by psychologist Kimberly Fenn explored how students responded to information in various formats.

96 undergrad students were shown a series of 50 images that told the story of a man robbing a car. The photos were displayed in quick succession on their computer screen, and together told a coherent narrative of the robbery.

Next, the students were shown 40 lines of text describing the events in the image. One third of the students, the control group, saw the information presented as-is, without any censorship bars or indication that it was from a social network. The other students were presented with the same information, but it was mocked up to look like a Twitter feed: labeled a “tweet ticker” with a blue background and the Twitter bird logo.

This second group of students were split into two groups. The first was shown text that was more formal and presented in complete sentences, while the second saw text that was more Twitter-like, featuring informal language and syntax.

Of the statements that all students read, all but six were correct facts about the previously viewed images. Students were asked to identify which statements were true and which were false.

And the result? All participants were similarly confident in the true facts, but the students who viewed the Twitter feed were more skeptical of the false “facts.” This held true regardless of whether the language was formal or informal, leading the researching to conclude that it is Twitter itself that causes an increased level of skepticism towards information.

(Source: Pacific Standard; suspicious girl at computer image via Shutterstock)