People exposed to fake news during the already uncertain COVID-19 era are simultaneously compelled to treat themselves and to try to save money, according to new research from CU Boulder and the University of New Hampshire.
The findings are published in an upcoming edition of the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.
Participants exposed to fake news said they felt more uncertainty about their lives. The researchers found this effect was compounded by the pandemic. It even occurred when researchers reminded participants that fake news exists.
The researchers then asked participants a series of questions about making hypothetical choices between premium or cost-effective food and grocery products.
“The finding that surprised us is that this uncertainty can cause people to feel a joint desire to save their money for a murky future and also to spend a little bit to make themselves feel better about