The “Big Five” of Truth Assessment

Disinformation, misinformation, forgeries, hoaxes, mystifications, and their ilk were prominent forces in what lead me late last year to read Greifeneder, et al.’s “The Psychology of Fake News: Accepting, Sharing, and Correcting Misinformation” (2021).[1] It was Chapter 5 that first exposed me to the “big five” of truth assessment. They are:

1 – Compatibility

2 – Coherence

3 – Credibility

4 – Consensus

5 – Evidence

The authors of Chapter 5 provided a table of these criteria, first mentioned in this quote:

“When people do evaluate whether information is likely to be true, they typically consider some (but rarely all) of the five criteria shown in Table 5.1 (Schwarz, 2015).”
Schwarz & Jalbert (2021)[1, p.74]

Here’s the table:[1, p.74]

The quote above references (Schwarz, 2015). In this reference, Schwarz states:

“When people do evaluate the truth of a statement or belief, they are likely to attend to a limited set of criteria, usually a subset of what might be considered the Big Five of truth assessment…”
Schwarz (2015)[2, p.210]

The work that the following quote is taken from is not cited in Schwarz 2015, even though this source was used:

“In making these assessments, people attend to a limited set of criteria, usually a subset of what might be considered the “Big Five” of truth assessment.”
Greifeneder & Schwarz (2014)[3, p.316]

As far as I can tell, Greifender & Schwarz (2014) is the first place the “Big Five” were called by that term.

Bibliographies Summary

What follows here is a summary of the changes in number of sources used between the 2014 and 2015 publications. Most sources stay the same but some are dropped and others added. The bibliographies follow the summary.

1 – Consensus

Two sources were dropped (2014), one was added (2015).

2 – Evidence

Three sources were dropped (2014), six were added (2015).

3 – Compatibility

One source was dropped (2014), three were added (2015).

4 – Credibility

Three sources were dropped (2014), three were added (2015).

5 – Coherence

Three sources were dropped (2014), none were added (2015).

Bibliographies

1 – Consensus

2 – Evidence

3 – Compatibility

4 – Credibility

5 – Coherence

1: Consensus 2014

Consensus:

Total: 7

Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes. Human Relations, 7, 117–140

Newcomb, T. M. (1943). Personality and social change. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Visser, P. S., & Mirabile, R. R. (2004). Attitudes in the social context: The impact of social network composition on individual-level attitude strength. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 779–795

*Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Influence: Science and practice. Boston: Pearson

Ross, M., Buehler, R., & Karr, J. W. (1998). Assessing the accuracy of conflicting autobiographical memories. Memory and Cognition, 26, 1233–1244.

*Lewandowsky, S., Ecker, U. K., Seifert, C. M., Schwarz, N., & Cook, J. (2012). Misinformation and its correction continued influence and successful debiasing. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13, 106–131.

Weaver, K., Garcia, S. M., Schwarz, N., & Miller, D. T. (2007). Inferring the popularity of an opinion from its familiarity: A repetitive voice can sound like a chorus. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 821–833.

1: Consensus 2015

Consensus:

Total: 6

Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes. Human Relations, 7, 117–140

Newcomb, T. M. (1943). Personality and social change. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Visser, P. S., & Mirabile, R. R. (2004). Attitudes in the social context: The impact of social network composition on individual-level attitude strength. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 779–795

*Harris, A. J. L., & Hahn, H. (2009). Bayesian rationality in evaluating multiple testimonies: Incorporating the role of coherence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35, 1366–1373. doi:10.1037/a0016567

Ross, M., Buehler, R., & Karr, J. W. (1998). Assessing the accuracy of conflicting autobiographical memories. Memory and Cognition, 26, 1233–1244.

Weaver, K., Garcia, S. M., Schwarz, N., & Miller, D. T. (2007). Inferring the popularity of an opinion from its familiarity: A repetitive voice can sound like a chorus. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 821–833.

1: Consensus 2021

(Festinger, 1954

Cialdini, 2009

Newcomb, 1943; Visser & Mirabile, 2004

Cialdini, 2009

Harris &
Hahn, 2009; Ross, Buehler, & Karr, 1998

(Lewandowsky,
Ecker, Seifert, Schwarz, & Cook, 2012; Lewandowsky, Gignac, & Vaughan,
2013

2: Evidence 2014

Evidence:

Total: 7

Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1973). Availability: A heuristic for judging frequency and probability. Cognitive Psychology, 5, 207–232.

Schwarz, N., Bless, H., Strack, F., Klumpp, G., Rittenauer-Schatka, H., & Simons, A. (1991). Ease of retrieval as information: Another look at the availability heuristic. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 195–202.

Schwarz, N. (1998). Accessible content and accessibility experiences: The interplay of declarative and experiential information in judgment. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2, 87–99.

Schwarz, N. (2004). Metacognitive experiences in consumer judgment and decision making. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 14, 332–348.

Haddock, G., Rothman, A. J., Reber, R., & Schwarz, N. (1999). Forming judgments of attitude certainty, intensity, and importance: The role of subjective experiences. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 771–782.

Tormala, Z. L., Petty, R. E., & Briñol, P. (2002). Ease of retrieval effects in persuasion: A self-validation analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1700–1712.

Ask, K., Greifeneder, R., & Reinhard, M. A. (2012). On the ease of (dis)believing: The role of accessibility experiences in credibility judgments. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26, 779–784.

2: Evidence 2015

Evidence:

Total: 10

Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1973). Availability: A heuristic for judging frequency and probability. Cognitive Psychology, 5, 207–232.

Haddock, G., Rothman, A. J., Reber, R., & Schwarz, N. (1999). Forming judgments of attitude certainty, intensity, and importance: The role of subjective experiences. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 771–782.

Tormala, Z. L., Petty, R. E., & Briñol, P. (2002). Ease of retrieval effects in persuasion: A self-validation analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1700–1712.

Novemsky, N., Dhar, R., Schwarz, N., & Simonson, I. (2007). Preference fluency in choice. Journal of Marketing Research, 44, 347–356. doi:10.1509/jmkr.44.3.347

Sanna, L. J., & Schwarz, N. (2003). Debiasing hindsight: The role of accessibility experiences and attributions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 287-295. doi:10.1016/S0022-1031(02)00528-0

Schwarz, N., Bless, H., Strack, F., Klumpp, G., Rittenauer-Schatka, H., & Simons, A. (1991). Ease of retrieval as information: Another look at the availability heuristic. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 195–202. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.61.2.195

Winke, M., Bless, H., & Biller, B. (1996). Subjective experience versus content of information in the construction of attitude judgments. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 1105–1113. doi:10.1177/01461672962211002

Sanna, L. J., Schwarz, N., & Small, E. (2002). Accessibility experiences and the hindsight bias: I-knew-it-all-along versus it-could-never-have-happened. Memory and Cognition, 30, 1288–1296. doi:10.3758/BF03213410

Stepper, S., & Strack, F. (1993). Proprioceptive determinants of emotional and nonemotional feelings.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 211–220. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.64.2.211

Tormala, Z. L., Falces, C., Briñol, P., & Petty, R. E. (2007). Ease of retrieval effects in social judgment: The role of unrequested cognitions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 143–157. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.93.2.143

2: Evidence 2021

Total: 4

Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1973). Availability: A heuristic for judging frequency and probability. Cognitive Psychology, 5, 207–232.

Haddock, G., Rothman, A. J., Reber, R., & Schwarz, N. (1999). Forming judgments of attitude certainty, intensity, and importance: The role of subjective experiences. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 771–782.

Schwarz, N. (1998). Accessible content and accessibility experiences: The interplay of declarative and experiential information in judgment. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2, 87–99.

Schwarz, N., & Vaughn, L. A. (2002). The availability heuristic revisited: Ease of recall and content of recall as distinct sources of information. In T. Gilovich, D. Griffin, & D. Kahneman (Eds.), Heuristics and biases: The psychology of intuitive judgment (pp. 103–119). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

3: Compatibility 2014

Compatibility (Consistency):

Total: 5

Petty, R. E., Ostrom, T. M., & Brock, T. C. (Eds.). (1981). Cognitive responses in persuasion. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Winkielman, P., Huber, D. E., Kavanagh, L., & Schwarz, N. (2012). Fluency of consistency: When thoughts fit nicely and flow smoothly. In B. Gawronski & F. Strack (Eds.), Cognitive consistency: A fundamental principle in social cognition (pp. 89–111). New York: Guilford Press.

Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford, CA: Standford University Press.

Abelson, R. P., Aronson, E., McGuire, W. J., Newcomb, T. M., Rosenberg, M. J., & Tannenbaum, P. H. (Eds.). (1968). Theories of cognitive consistency: A sourcebook. Chicago: Rand-McNally

Gawronski, B., & Strack, F. (Eds.). (2012). Cognitive consistency: A fundamental principle in social cognition. New York: Guilford Press.

3: Compatibility 2015

Compatibility:

Total: 7

Abelson, R. P., Aronson, E., McGuire, W. J., Newcomb, T. M., Rosenberg, M. J., & Tannenbaum, P. H. (Eds.). (1968). Theories of cognitive consistency: A sourcebook. Chicago: Rand-McNally

McGuire, W. J. (1972). Attitude change: The information processing paradigm. In C. G. McClintock (Ed.), Experimental social psychology (pp. 108–141). New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.

Wyer, R. S. (1974). Cognitive organization and change: An information processing approach. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford, CA: Standford University Press.

Gawronski, B., & Strack, F. (Eds.). (2012). Cognitive consistency: A fundamental principle in social cognition. New York: Guilford Press.

Zanna, M. P., & Cooper, J. (1976). Dissonance and the attribution process. In J. H. Harvey, W. J. Ickes, & R. F. Kidd (Eds.), New directions in attribution research (Vol. 1, pp. 199–217). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Winkielman, P., Huber, D. E., Kavanagh, L., & Schwarz, N. (2012). Fluency of consistency: When thoughts fit nicely and flow smoothly. In B. Gawronski & F. Strack (Eds.), Cognitive consistency: A fundamental principle in social cognition (pp. 89–111). New York: Guilford Press.

3: Compatibility 2021

Petty & Cacioppo, 1986

Taber & Lodge,
2006; Winkielman et al., 2012

Festinger, 1957; Gawronski & Strack, 2012

4: Credibility 2014

Credibility:

Total: 7

Eagly, A. H., & Chaiken, S. (1993). The psychology of attitudes. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1986). The elaboration likelihood model of persuasion. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 19, pp. 123–205). New York: Academic Press.

Brown, A. S., Brown, L. A., & Zoccoli, S. L. (2002). Repetition-based credibility enhancement of unfamiliar faces. The American Journal of Psychology, 115, 199–209.

Jacoby, L. L., Kelley, C. M., Brown, J., & Jasechko, J. (1989). Becoming famous overnight: Limits of the ability to avoid unconscious influences of the past. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 326-338.

Jacoby, L. L., Woloshyn, V., & Kelley, C. (1989). Becoming famous without being recognized: Unconscious influences of memory produced by dividing attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 118, 115–125.

Zebrowitz, L. A., & Montepare, J. M. (1992). Impressions of babyfaced individuals across the life span. Developmental Psychology, 28, 1143–1143.

Wänke, M., & Bless, H. (2000). The effects of subjective ease of retrieval on attitudinal judgments: The moderating role of processing motivation. In H. Bless & J. P. Forgas (Eds.), The message within: The role of subjective experience in social cognition and behavior (pp. 143–161). Philadelphia: Psychology Press.

4: Credibility 2015

Credibility:

Total: 7

Eagly, A. H., & Chaiken, S. (1993). The psychology of attitudes. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Petty, R. E., Ostrom, T. M., & Brock, T. C. (Eds.). (1981). Cognitive responses in persuasion. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Brown, A. S., Brown, L. A., & Zoccoli, S. L. (2002). Repetition-based credibility enhancement of unfamiliar faces. The American Journal of Psychology, 115, 199–209.

Jacoby, L. L., Kelley, C. M., Brown, J., & Jasechko, J. (1989). Becoming famous overnight: Limits of the ability to avoid unconscious influences of the past. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 326-338.

Jacoby, L. L., Woloshyn, V., & Kelley, C. (1989). Becoming famous without being recognized: Unconscious influences of memory produced by dividing attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 118, 115–125.

Lev-Ari, S., & Keysar, B. (2010). Why don’t we believe non-native speakers? The influence of accent on credibility. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 1093–1096. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2010.05.025

Newman, E., Sanson, M., Miller, E., Quigley-McBride, A., Foster, J., Bernstein, D., & Garry, M. (2013). People think others with easy to pronounce names make more trustworthy claims. Unpublished manuscript, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

4: Credibility 2021

Eagly & Chaiken, 1993; Petty & Cacioppo, 1986

Luhmann, 1979

Gefen, 2000

Brown, Brown, & Zoccoli, 2002; Weisbuch & Mackie, 2009

Jacoby, Woloshyn, & Kelley, 1989

(Newman et al., 2014)

5: Coherence 2014

Coherence:

Total: 7

Johnson-Laird, P. N. (2012). Mental models and consistency. In B. Gawronski & F. Strack (Eds.), Cognitive consistency: A fundamental principle in social cognition (pp. 225–243). New York: Guilford Press.

Pennington, N., & Hastie, R. (1992). Explaining the evidence: Tests of the story model for juror decision making. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 189–206.

Pennington, N., & Hastie, R. (1993). The story model for juror decision making. In R. Hastie (Ed.), Inside the juror (pp. 192–223). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Topolinski, S. (2012). Nonpropositional consistency. In B. Gawronski & F. Strack (Eds.), Cognitive consistency: A fundamental principle in social cognition (pp. 112–131). New York: Guilford Press.

Topolinski, S., & Strack, F. (2008). Where there’s a will—there’s no intuition. The unintentional basis of semantic coherence judgments. Journal of Memory and Language, 58, 1032–1048.

Topolinski, S., & Strack, F. (2009). The architecture of intuition: Fluency and affect determine
intuitive judgments of semantic and visual coherence and judgments of grammaticality in artificial grammar learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 138, 39–63.

Morsanyi, K., & Handley, S. J. (2012). Logic feels so good—I like it!: Evidence for intuitive detection of logicality in syllogistic reasoning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 38, 596–616.

5: Coherence 2015

Coherence:

Total: 4

Johnson-Laird, P. N. (2012). Mental models and consistency. In B. Gawronski & F. Strack (Eds.), Cognitive consistency: A fundamental principle in social cognition (pp. 225–243). New York: Guilford Press.

Pennington, N., & Hastie, R. (1992). Explaining the evidence: Tests of the story model for juror decision making. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 189–206.

Pennington, N., & Hastie, R. (1993). The story model for juror decision making. In R. Hastie (Ed.), Inside the juror (pp. 192–223). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Topolinski, S. (2012). Nonpropositional consistency. In B. Gawronski & F. Strack (Eds.), Cognitive consistency: A fundamental principle in social cognition (pp. 112–131). New York: Guilford Press.

5: Coherence 2021

Johnson-Laird, 2012

Pennington & Hastie, 1993

Topolinski, 2012

(Topolinski & Strack, 2008, 2009)

Morsanyi & Handley, 2012

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References:

[1] – Greifeneder, Rainer, et al. The Psychology of Fake News: Accepting, Sharing, and Correcting Misinformation. 1st ed., Routledge, 2021. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/oa-edit/10.4324/9780429295379/psychology-fake-news-rainer-greifeneder-mariela-jaff%C3%A9-eryn-newman-norbert-schwarz. Accessed 4 Apr. 2022.

[2] – Schwarz, N. (2015). Metacognition. In M. Mikulincer, P. R. Shaver, E. Borgida, & J. A.
Bargh (Eds.), APA Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition (pp. 203–229). Washington, DC: APA.

[3] – Greifeneder, Reiner & Norbert Schwarz (2014). Metacognitive Processes and Subjective Experiences. In J.W. Sherman, B. Gawronski, Y. Trope (Eds.), Dual-Process Theories of the Social Mind (pp. 314-327).

One Comment on “The “Big Five” of Truth Assessment

  1. The problem here is that of nutcracker and nut. Smoking out ‘fake news’ as it is currently understood is not difficult. It is invariably recognisably false unless you happen to be a nut yourself and will believe anything of the right ilk that is being fed to you (and which you have probably half sought out in the first place).
    Aside from ‘state sponsored false news’ i.e. propaganda, what is the fake news these authorities are claiming need such an amazing armoury to smoke out? Could you maybe give us some examples? Some things these people discovered to be false because they come professionally equipped that the rest of us missed?

    Like

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