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Cognitive reflection is associated with greater truth discernment for COVID-19 headlines, less trust but greater use of formal information sources, and greater willingness to pay for masks among social media users in Pakistan | HKS Misinformation Review

By Ayesha Ali, Ihsan Ayyub Qazi
July 14, 2022

We evaluated the relationship between individual differences in cognitive reflection and the ability to discern between true and false COVID-19 information, trust in information sources for receiving COVID-19 information and willingness to pay (WTP) for masks, using a sample of 621 low- and middle-income users in Pakistan. To capture WTP, participants play an incentive-compatible game involving real stakes. We find that higher cognitive reflection test (CRT) scores are associated with greater truth discernment for COVID-19 headlines, less trust but greater use of formal information sources, and greater WTP for KN95 masks. Thus, interventions to improve discernment of COVID-19 information should target users who rely on intuition and less on cognitive reflection.

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Source: Cognitive reflection is associated with greater truth discernment for COVID-19 headlines, less trust but greater use of formal information sources, and greater willingness to pay for masks among social media users in Pakistan | HKS Misinformation Review