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Fake news on smartphone Source: Shutterstock

Looking back in history, humans have always considered “the truth” to be somewhat subjective. Whether the subject is religion and spirituality or the outcome of a murder trial, people tend to believe what they want to believe, choosing the belief that gives them the best advantage socially or contributes most favorably to their survival.

Studies have suggested it’s human nature to conform to others’ way of thinking in order to gain acceptance within a group, even when those thoughts are questionable or false. In the 1950s, psychologist Solomon Asch conducted an experiment in which a group of eight people were asked to state their answer to a simple multiple choice question aloud. Only one group member was an unsuspecting participant, while the others were told ahead of time to uniformly state the wrong answer. Three-quarters of unsuspecting participants gave the wrong answer at least once, matching their response to the other group members and following their instinctive need to fit in.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha has served as an editor for CU Times since March 2015. She also served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer for more than 14 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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