Older Adults More Likely Than Young To Be Fooled By ‘Fake News’

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Chattanooga, Tennessee—

The very oldest adults are more likely to fall for fake news, finds a new study. University of Florida researchers found adults ages 61 to 70 had a similar level of ability to detect fake news as their younger counterparts, but that adults older than age 70 were less likely to spot fake news, though it’s likely because they didn’t look as closely at information or pay attention to details according to study authors. People of all ages were less likely to identify fake news about COVID-19 than news not related to the pandemic—researchers say this could be due to low familiarity with COVID-related information in the early months of the pandemic. Researchers note that it’s only in very old age—when declines in thinking abilities can no longer be offset by life experience and world knowledge—that people may become especially vulnerable to fake news and other misinformation.