Your Brain is Being Messed with by Headlines

Your Brain is Being Messed With

Headlines determine the number of people who read articles, but they also determine the way we read and remember the content.

A headline provides a first impression that shapes the way our brain processes the rest of it. This is why problems arise when headlines are even slightly misleading. In fact, slightly misleading headlines can be more problematic than blatantly misleading ones.

Ullrich Ecker, from the University of Western Australia focuses his career on misinformation and how it affects people's judgement. 

He wrote in the abstract of the study:

"Misleading headlines affect readers’ memory, their inferential reasoning and behavioral intentions... On a theoretical level, we argue that these effects arise not only because headlines constrain further information processing, biasing readers toward a specific interpretation, but also because readers struggle to update their memory in order to correct initial misconceptions. Practical implications for news consumers and media literacy are discussed. "

Just something to keep in mind.

Study:
Ecker, Ullrich K. H.; Lewandowsky, Stephan; Chang, Ee Pin; Pillai, Rekha
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, Vol 20(4), Dec 2014, 323-335