Posting on Social Media Makes People Overconfident, Study Shows

A new study has revealed that posting on social media makes people overconfident.

According to the study from the University of Texas at Austin, sharing articles on social media makes people think they know more about the articles’ topics than they actually do.

For instance, the study says that sharing a news article can make people think they know more about its subject even if they have not read it or have only glanced at the headline.

“Sharing can create this rise in confidence because by putting information online, sharers publicly commit to an expert identity,” the study explains.

“Doing so shapes their sense of self, helping them to feel just as knowledgeable as their post makes them seem.”

The study was published online in advance in the Journal of Consumers Psychology.

It includes data from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism that shows barely more than half of social media users read the entire article before sharing it.

Meanwhile, about a quarter of people read part of the story, and just over a fifth scan the headline and a few paragraphs.

Marketing professor Susan M. Broniarczyk said people might feel they don’t need to read or learn additional information on a topic if they feel more knowledgeable about it.

“This miscalibrated sense of knowledge can be hard to correct,” Broniarczyk said.

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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