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  • Writer's pictureBaileigh Allen, ZigZag

The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But Fake News (sigh)

In today’s world of fake news, nobody knows what to believe.  Can we truly believe what a business, brand or politician has to say?  And…given that…is there any reason why businesses, brands and politicians should believe us; we, the people?  Why should they trust the average Joe or Jill to tell them the truth when they don’t do it themselves?  That’s where emotions….unbiased, objective truth comes in…enter MindProber.

Research shows most Americans (77%) believe that major traditional television and newspaper media outlets report ‘fake news’.  A Monmouth University poll released in April 2018, noted a rather large spike in distrust of news organizations spreading misinformation from the same time, one year ago.  Approximately one-third believe fake news is reported regularly while almost half said it happens occasionally.

Jonathan Swift once wrote, “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it”.  And while ignoring facts has long been a seeming strategic tactic used in politics; what is one to do when fake news is so prevalent?

Consider the following items:

Did ICE recently hurl a pregnant woman over a border wall so she wouldn’t have her baby on U.S. soil?

Did Democrats draft legislation that would make eating at Chick-Fil-A a hate crime?

Is Hilary Clinton really connected to a child sex ring run out of a pizzeria?

Did Kay Jewelry really replace diamonds in engagement rings?

Does Harry & David support the neo-Nazi movement?

Seriously folks; none of these stories – and many exist – is even remotely true.  But imagine the impact as many don’t follow Reagan’s advice to “trust then verify”.  Why might this be the case?

According to “Lies Spread faster than the Truth”; a research study recently released in Science Journal, fake news evokes higher emotional arousal than say, the average news article.  Why is that important?  Hmm…let’s step back and think about how this equates to brands for a New York minute.  Higher arousal garners more attention, greater recall and purchase probability compelled to neutral arousal.  In other words, emotions play a pivotal role.

And even if the fake news is then retracted, the story has already left an imprint and heightened arousal states.  For those who don’t know, arousal is a variable directly related to cognitive and affective processes, which represents the body activation level as a human capacity to react to external stimuli.  As a fundamental dimension in the study of emotions, arousal has been related to simple processes such as awareness and attention, but also to more complex tasks such as information retention and attitude formation.

Here’s the skinny:  when people form an emotional attachment to a brand, political candidate, etc. the strength of that bond is not dissimilar to an attachment to another person.  It then becomes hard for that person to separate themselves from one brand or candidate and begin a new relationship with another.  This is where fake news grabs ahold and retractions don’t seem to matter much; the imprint has been made.

So where is one to turn in this world of fake news?  This is where behavioral research is going to continue to become more and more prevalent.  Platforms like MindProber, are positioned to become the way of the future.  Forget dials, bias and ordinary panels.  Use MindProber’s research grade biometric sensors and apps to steer away from fake news or gut feel.  How?  Well, MindProber has developed state-of-the-art technology which characterizes consumer implicit and emotional reactions to ads, political debates, and any and all other video content, on a global and second-by-second basis.  Emotional branding can only be achieved by putting what your customers, or constituents, deem most important ahead of everything else; allow MindProber to strengthen your position; you won’t be disappointed in the outcome.  And that folks, is real news.

For more information about MindProber US, please contact Baileigh Allen.  For Europe and all other, reach out to Pedro Almeida.  Simply want to chat emotions and branding?  Fake news?  Ad measurement?  How neuropolitics research can assist in your political aspirations?  Drop us a line anytime.

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