Can Fact-Checking Influence User Beliefs About Misinformation Claims: An Examination of Contingent Effects

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Publication History

Received: August 4, 2021
Revised: April 13, 2022; September 27, 2022; January 26, 2023; February 13, 2023
Accepted: February 13, 2023
Published Online as Articles in Advance: November 30, 2023
Published Online in Issue: December 1, 2023

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Prior research has suggested that corrective fact-checking has inconsistent effects on beliefs about online misinformation claims. This study attempts to explain this inconsistency using three contingent factors—claim-source credibility, fact-checker credibility, and attitude strength—which respectively relate to three key parties in the fact-checking process: the source of a misleading claim, the fact-checker, and the user evaluating the fact-check. I hypothesize the interplay between these factors, which is tested using two online experiments on COVID-19-related misinformation with over 900 participants. Multilevel analysis of pretest-posttest, repeated measures data supports the hypothesized moderating effects and offers additional insights about how these effects vary between earlier versus later phases of misinformation cycles. The paper concludes with a discussion of contributions to research and practice.

Additional Details
Author Anol Bhattacherjee
Year 2023
Volume 47
Issue 4
Keywords Misinformation, fact-checking, source credibility, attitude strength, experiment
Page Numbers 1679-1692
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