Skip to Main Content

Fake News and Misinformation: Bias: Why Do We Fall for Fake News?

Bias: Why Do Our Brains Love Fake News?

People have a tendency to accept information unquestioningly when it reinforces some existing belief or attitude, even when presented with contradicting proof. It is important to understand and recognize that we all have biases. 

Source: PBS Digital Studios - Above the Noise

Types of Biases

Confirmation bias: is an unavoidable part of how you make decisions. It’s an evolutionary trait that influences how you view the world, and it’s not something you can always overcome. However, if we are aware of its characteristics, then we can work towards forming an unbiased view to most circumstances or information.

Implicit bias: is the attitudes, stereotypes or beliefs that can affect our understanding, decisions and how we treat others in an unconscious manner. Implicit bias is not intentional, but it can still impact how we judge others based on race, ability, appearance, gender, culture or language.

Media bias: is the bias in journalistic reporting, in news or programming selection and covering, etc., in mass communications media. Media bias differs from fake news, in that fake news is specifically untrue.

Adapted from William Angliss Institute

Don't let confirmation bias narrow your perspective. According to this report, "more than more than two-thirds (68%) share information with people who hold views similar to theirs. Fewer than a third (29%) do so with those who hold differing views."

Source: News Literacy Project

5 Ways to Beat Confirmation Bias

Source: Countable

Filter Bubbles

Social media and technology have changed the way we access the news. Many of us get our news from our social media feeds rather than directly from journalists.


The Filter Bubble 
Social media news feeds use algorithms to show us posts that align with our opinions and interests. That means we mostly see news articles that confirm our own viewpoints, and which don't challenge our perspectives. This phenomenon is called the "filter bubble".


Adapted from:  Colby-Sawyer College Library & Tobias Rose-Stockwell/Medium

Source: Eli Pariser: Beware Online Filter Bubbles

Resources to Help Evaluate Bias

You can never get rid of all of your biases, but you can actively seek out other points of view. You can't get rid of your filter bubble either, but you can take steps to shrink it. Here are some suggestions:

Originally created by Miami Dade College Library

Rate Your Own Bias Tool

Use this tool from AllSides to learn about your own bias and how it compares with others.