First-generation immigrants’ and sojourners’ believability evaluation of disinformation

Howard Journal of Communications (For special issue: Donald Trump Era and Communicating Race in America)

Abstract: News consumption enhances the contact experience for first-generation immigrants and sojourners in their acculturation to the host culture. Using acculturation theory, this study explores interdisciplinary concepts related to understanding immigrants’ and sojourners’ believability evaluation of disinformation. By conducting an online experiment, the authors examined the believability of disinformation by asking immigrants and sojourners (N=71) to discern online news stories without disinformation from online stories containing disinformation. The present study found that first-generation immigrants and sojourners with higher levels of perceived English language proficiency, longer length of stays in the U.S., and greater US news consumption are more likely to demonstrate higher news IQ and higher News IQ led to less believability of disinformation. Although news plays a critical role in understanding current events and issues pertinent to individuals’ day-to-day lives, communities, societies, and governments, immigrants and sojourners are largely marginalized populations as news consumers. As foreign-born residents make up close to 14% of the U.S. population, this study will provide meaningful insights.

Solyee Kim 

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