The influence of traits associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) on the detection of fake news.
Authors: Taylor, J. and Matthews, S.
Editors: Stephanidis, C.
Conference: HCI International 2020
Dates: 20-24 July 2020
Journal: Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), HCII 2020.
Issue: Late Breaking Papers: Interaction, Knowledge and Social Media.
Publisher: Springer, Cham.
It has been suggested that neuro-diverse individuals may be particularly good at detecting online deception (Pick 2019). A small-scale exploratory study was conducted to investigate whether individuals with traits associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) were more or less accurate in spotting different types of fake news. A non-clinical sample of university students completed an online identification task, where both fake and real articles items were manipulated in terms of their emotive content. When individuals with low and high scores on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (Baron-Cohen et al. 2001) were compared, there were no significant main effects on detection accuracy. However, there were two significant interactions, indicating an interesting relationship between message emotiveness, ASD and fake news detection. The results contribute to an understanding of how psychological differences, in particular ASD, may affect online judgements and will contribute to a developing body of work relating positive skills of neuro-diverse individuals to the cybersecurity industry.